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Thread of local businesses that don't survive the coronavirus

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Realistically, a huge number of local businesses won't survive more than a 2-4 week shutdown.  Here's a thread to keep us updated.

On life support:

  • Hops and Grain
  • Probably COTA but you won't hear shit until it's dead

 

 

 

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Definitely agree that this will be the end of a lot of local bars and restaurants. Other than the bigger names, it will be hard to get much info on them though. Most will close for a while and simply never reopen. 

Its a really tough industry. I was reading an article about San Antonio restaurants that closed in 2019. One guy said he could have made it would 6 more customers per day. Have to image there are a lot barely getting by that this will destroy.

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Trying to do my part by ordering takout and pick-up orders from local places we frequent.  They have to be terrified.  

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Posted (edited)

I just opened my dental office about 4-5 months ago.  We’re essentially a startup.  We’re rescheduling everyone.  Some people are getting pissed and refusing to reschedule some of their surgeries and appts.

As a startup in my field, it takes 6-7 months to reach break even point.  If this thing spreads and we need to close for 2-4 weeks, I cannot afford to pay my staff.  Our overhead is almost 30k a month as a startup.  I have enough working capital in my business account to survive 4 months if I cut all our marketing, 3rd party services, don’t pay myself, and let some people go.  I cannot imagine other small businesses that don’t have enough capital to survive more than a month.  Landlords still want their rent, banks still want their loan payments, staff still wants their hours and pay.  Lots of people are going to be severely affected by this.   
 

Even the banks are freaking out.  My banker called me Friday asking me if I needed more credit to get through this.  If these small businesses default on their loans... 

 

Best thing right now is if they fed gov allows everyone to freeze their loan payments temporarily with no interest accruing.  If landlords don’t have to temporarily pay their mortgage, they can hold off on rent for a month or two so these businesses don’t go under.  I don’t have a damn solution but I know my office can survive 3-4 months before we run out of money.   

Edited by victory88

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My kids' pediatric dentist sent an email yesterday that they are only taking emergency dental care patients for the foreseeable future.  I certainly hope they make it but the location at 38th/Lamar can't be cheap. They're good people.

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, victory88 said:

Best thing right now is if they fed gov allows everyone to freeze their loan payments temporarily with no interest accruing.

This is something I've thought about.  What are the logistics of this? Can the feds call a 6 month payment and interest holiday for all loans?  Basically, just move your end date out 6 months but don't accrue any interest during the holiday.  It'd do wonders for the consumer but what type of havoc would it cause for lenders?

Edited by CooterBrown

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The long term economic impacts for small businesses that do survive will be rough. A lot of time to regain profitability, pay off debt, and rebuild cash reserves. Nobody will be thinking about expanding for a while. We will be fine in the long run but it may be more than a year or two before it’s all out of the system.

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I’m worried about some of the small book stories and toy stores.   People are moving to Amazon for a lot of stuff right now, who might normally frequent those places.  

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33 minutes ago, victory88 said:

I just opened my dental office about 4-5 months ago.  We’re essentially a startup.  We’re rescheduling everyone.  Some people are getting pissed and refusing to reschedule some of their surgeries and appts.

As a startup in my field, it takes 6-7 months to reach break even point.  If this thing spreads and we need to close for 2-4 weeks, I cannot afford to pay my staff.  Our overhead is almost 30k a month as a startup.  I have enough working capital in my business account to survive 4 months if I cut all our marketing, 3rd party services, don’t pay myself, and let some people go.  I cannot imagine other small businesses that don’t have enough capital to survive more than a month.  Landlords still want their rent, banks still want their loan payments, staff still wants their hours and pay.  Lots of people are going to be severely affected by this.   
 

Even the banks are freaking out.  My banker called me Friday asking me if I needed more credit to get through this.  If these small businesses default on their loans... 

 

Best thing right now is if they fed gov allows everyone to freeze their loan payments temporarily with no interest accruing.  If landlords don’t have to temporarily pay their mortgage, they can hold off on rent for a month or two so these businesses don’t go under.  I don’t have a damn solution but I know my office can survive 3-4 months before we run out of money.   

My FIL is a dentist in his mid-70's. Been practicing for nearly 50 years. My wife runs the business side of the practice. His practice includes a LOT of old fuckers. They're still proceeding business as usual. I think they've had a couple patients cancel so far.

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Good friend works with the Red River Cultural District. The bars and live music venues face certain bankruptcy and will be decimated. He’s not sure if any of them will come back when this is all said and done and is worried about the future of live music in Austin. 
 

 

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I’ll add that if businesses are looking for loans or equity investments to make it thru this, I might be able to connect them with capital depending upon the business. Pm me if interested.

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My friend owns the Brewtorium. This is... not good for them. Granted they can do food to go and crowlers to go so reasonably they could continue operation but, I cannot imagine a scenario where they aren't going to have some trouble.

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2 hours ago, destroya said:

Good friend works with the Red River Cultural District. The bars and live music venues face certain bankruptcy and will be decimated. He’s not sure if any of them will come back when this is all said and done and is worried about the future of live music in Austin. 
 

 

This is my biggest fear.

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2 hours ago, vtaenz said:

My friend owns the Brewtorium. This is... not good for them. Granted they can do food to go and crowlers to go so reasonably they could continue operation but, I cannot imagine a scenario where they aren't going to have some trouble.

Damn, if they are in trouble then just about everywhere is. They stay packed on weekends. I can imagine that place has some overhead though.

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12 minutes ago, CooterBrown said:

Nickel City just laid off their entire staff and closed "temporarily".

Getting them on unemployment (if eligible) ASAP is the best way they may have a job to come back to after the “temporary “ stay, but with Austin rental rates it’s a matter of time. 
 

Why has no one suggested allowing small biz employees to immediately access unemployment benefits temporarily to try to keep their job from permanent closure. Suspending rents for all would help too

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6 minutes ago, Larry T. Spider said:

Damn, if they are in trouble then just about everywhere is. They stay packed on weekends. I can imagine that place has some overhead though.

I don't know their financials and they've been doing well as far as I know. I just never ask if they are in a rough spot or not. But I cannot imagine that a month or so like this will be good. I do worry about the number of people they employ though, that won't be good for them.

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Pretty sure my company will be fine as we have no debt and own the building. But I'm almost certain that 2 of my competitors wont make it

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Please share ways and links we are capable of supporting local businesses if possible. 

(other than going to them right now)

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I just opened my dental office about 4-5 months ago.  We’re essentially a startup.  We’re rescheduling everyone.  Some people are getting pissed and refusing to reschedule some of their surgeries and appts.
As a startup in my field, it takes 6-7 months to reach break even point.  If this thing spreads and we need to close for 2-4 weeks, I cannot afford to pay my staff.  Our overhead is almost 30k a month as a startup.  I have enough working capital in my business account to survive 4 months if I cut all our marketing, 3rd party services, don’t pay myself, and let some people go.  I cannot imagine other small businesses that don’t have enough capital to survive more than a month.  Landlords still want their rent, banks still want their loan payments, staff still wants their hours and pay.  Lots of people are going to be severely affected by this.   
 
Even the banks are freaking out.  My banker called me Friday asking me if I needed more credit to get through this.  If these small businesses default on their loans... 
 
Best thing right now is if they fed gov allows everyone to freeze their loan payments temporarily with no interest accruing.  If landlords don’t have to temporarily pay their mortgage, they can hold off on rent for a month or two so these businesses don’t go under.  I don’t have a damn solution but I know my office can survive 3-4 months before we run out of money.   



This. We essentially have to freeze the financial system in place for a few months. It sounds radical, but these are radical times.

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21 minutes ago, Jameslaw121 said:

Pretty sure my company will be fine as we have no debt and own the building. But I'm almost certain that 2 of my competitors wont make it

Here's the rub.  Going lean to migrate these times becomes critical.  Along with access to capital, it's going to bend quite a few business models.  Many will go under, but many others will thrive.  Wonder how many people over the years told this owner to float more debt, the advantages of "strategic debt", and to use available funds for other projects than paying off the building?  The more things change.....

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4 minutes ago, BabaYaga said:

Here's the rub.  Going lean to migrate these times becomes critical.  Along with access to capital, it's going to bend quite a few business models.  Many will go under, but many others will thrive.  Wonder how many people over the years told this owner to float more debt, the advantages of "strategic debt", and to use available funds for other projects than paying off the building?  The more things change.....

we get a call at least once a month from our bank saying those exact same things

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11 minutes ago, Neonmoon said:

Please share ways and links we are capable of supporting local businesses if possible. 

(other than going to them right now)

Reaching out would be the first move.  My folks have a favorite little book store they haunt (both are ex Plan 2 hippies).  To keep the doors open and still be able to buy/sell books, the owenrs are having runners attach the purcahsed book in plastic bags on their door handles througout the day.  For us, we continue to get takeout.  

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I'm a small business owner in Austin.  We're in construction and facility maintenance.  Luckily, we have a strong balance sheet, and we're diverse enough in what we do to be able to move the chess pieces around to keep our current workforce busy and productive.  We have a strong backlog, but I'm definitely worried.  I think the next few weeks are going to be crucial, but I'm now shifting our forecast to show a big dip in revenue in Q2 as we see some of our short-term projects put on hold or cancel completely.  I put a hiring freeze in place Thursday and we're suspending pay raises for the next 30 days as things shake out.  We also put strict guidelines in place to limit overtime.  

Our banker reached out to me this morning offering to up our line of credit.  I'm actively shifting some of our strategies to boost cash flow.  We've always paid vendors early, but we're going to push that envelope as far as possible to build up a bigger cash reserve.  All that being said, I'm scared to death.

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9 minutes ago, Spaulding Smails said:

All that being said, I'm scared to death.

Your family and workers are watching you as they've never done before.  Be the rock they need you to be.  We'll get through this.  

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13 minutes ago, BabaYaga said:

Your family and workers are watching you as they've never done before.  Be the rock they need you to be.  We'll get through this.  

You are spot on.  I've tried to be decisive and proactive without conveying fear or anxiety.  Easier said than done, but I think we'll be a better company WHEN (not if) we weather this storm.  I keep telling myself that I have 65 families counting on sound business decisions.  I'm taking every business decision incredibly seriously right now.  

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3 hours ago, victory88 said:

I just opened my dental office about 4-5 months ago.  We’re essentially a startup.  We’re rescheduling everyone.  Some people are getting pissed and refusing to reschedule some of their surgeries and appts.

As a startup in my field, it takes 6-7 months to reach break even point.  If this thing spreads and we need to close for 2-4 weeks, I cannot afford to pay my staff.  Our overhead is almost 30k a month as a startup.  I have enough working capital in my business account to survive 4 months if I cut all our marketing, 3rd party services, don’t pay myself, and let some people go.  I cannot imagine other small businesses that don’t have enough capital to survive more than a month.  Landlords still want their rent, banks still want their loan payments, staff still wants their hours and pay.  Lots of people are going to be severely affected by this.   
 

Even the banks are freaking out.  My banker called me Friday asking me if I needed more credit to get through this.  If these small businesses default on their loans... 

 

Best thing right now is if they fed gov allows everyone to freeze their loan payments temporarily with no interest accruing.  If landlords don’t have to temporarily pay their mortgage, they can hold off on rent for a month or two so these businesses don’t go under.  I don’t have a damn solution but I know my office can survive 3-4 months before we run out of money.   

I've opened up a few food service business over the past several years as side investments.  I can probably survive indefinitely even if we shut down if I can get some rent relief.  I haven't checked with land lords but I'm guessing they may not be very agreeable.  I may have to just declare force majeure and take it to arbitration.  But either way, personally I will survive. 

The bad part is what happens to my employees.  At max capacity I employ around 35 people.  Most restaurants survive based on a stream of constant cash flow, a significant percentage of this revenue (usually around 40%, the single biggest cost) goes to labor.  When cash flow dries up you have to cut shifts to stay afloat.  Ordinarily, those people go to other restaurants.  Since that is not an option, many of them are going to be in dire straits.  I don't know what to do.  I have no way to keep paying 35 people without continuous revenue.  Many are great employees, very hard working people that have been with me for years and I consider them personal friends.  

 

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Heard from someone that would know that some major movie production companies will be sending their MAR-MAY releases direct to streaming.  He's scared for the future of Alamo. He doesn't know if they, or any theater chain can survive through the summer.

 

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1 hour ago, Neonmoon said:

Please share ways and links we are capable of supporting local businesses if possible. 

(other than going to them right now)

1.) Buy a roof from me

or

2.) Let me build a new home for you

or

3.) Let me remodel your exisiting home

 

(can I get a draw?)

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My brother is in the final leg of opening a barre studio for/with his wife in Austin. He’s currently hosting a global Online summit for the coronavirus this week for his real job so he is well informed but certainly not a good time to be months away from a planned business opening that is centered around groups of people. The past two weeks and rest of the month was their heavy marketing/introduction phase but that’s been put on hold now. Will talk to him this week and see what their plans are now. Very sad. 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, victory88 said:

I just opened my dental office about 4-5 months ago.  We’re essentially a startup.  We’re rescheduling everyone.  Some people are getting pissed and refusing to reschedule some of their surgeries and appts.

As a startup in my field, it takes 6-7 months to reach break even point.  If this thing spreads and we need to close for 2-4 weeks, I cannot afford to pay my staff.  Our overhead is almost 30k a month as a startup.  I have enough working capital in my business account to survive 4 months if I cut all our marketing, 3rd party services, don’t pay myself, and let some people go.  I cannot imagine other small businesses that don’t have enough capital to survive more than a month.  Landlords still want their rent, banks still want their loan payments, staff still wants their hours and pay.  Lots of people are going to be severely affected by this.   
 

Even the banks are freaking out.  My banker called me Friday asking me if I needed more credit to get through this.  If these small businesses default on their loans... 

 

Best thing right now is if they fed gov allows everyone to freeze their loan payments temporarily with no interest accruing.  If landlords don’t have to temporarily pay their mortgage, they can hold off on rent for a month or two so these businesses don’t go under.  I don’t have a damn solution but I know my office can survive 3-4 months before we run out of money.   

V88, our practice will turn 10 in December - we hope.  We were about to ink the deal on a new multi-million $ office.  2020 was going to be ‘our year.’  Now it’s pure survival mode.

Against all advice from CPAs and everyone else, I’ve always hoarded cash in the business for a ‘rainy day,’ which I always thought would be incapacitation of our talent.  Instead, it’s coronavirus.  For the last month we’re been cutting costs like crazy.  Now, if we let go all staff and cut all non-loan/rent/utility expenses, our business can probably, technically, survive a year, but we are without a doubt the 1% exception.  Our family can live off savings for a while, but most of our staff are not that fortunate.

Praying for you and all business owners and staff who not only have to face Coronavirus but also financial ruin.

 

Edited by solamente73
English is even harder when some virus wants to knock you on your ass

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1 hour ago, ChickenSandwich said:

Getting them on unemployment (if eligible) ASAP is the best way they may have a job to come back to after the “temporary “ stay, but with Austin rental rates it’s a matter of time. 
 

Why has no one suggested allowing small biz employees to immediately access unemployment benefits temporarily to try to keep their job from permanent closure. Suspending rents for all would help too

it's coming HR6201 has made it through the house.

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I'll put this here because it is more about business, from a local (Michigan) article about restaurants & bars closing

Quote

His eatery is one of more than more than 16,000 eating and drinking establishments in Michigan impacted by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's order to shut down dine-in operations today

The Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association says the industry employs more than 450,000 people and generates $17.9 billion in sales, making it a significant piece of the state's economy to be impacted by COVID-19.

 

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31 minutes ago, solamente73 said:

V88, our practice will turn 10 in December - we hope.  We were about to ink the deal on a new multi-million $ office.  2020 was going to be ‘our year.’  Now it’s pure survival mode.

Against all advice from CPAs and everyone else, I’ve always hoarded cash in the business for a ‘rainy day,’ which I always thought would be incapacitation of our talent.  Instead, it’s coronavirus.  For the last month we’re been cutting costs like crazy.  Now, if we let go all staff and cut all non-loan/rent/utility expenses, our business can probably, technically, survive a year, but we are without a doubt the 1% exception.  Our family can live off savings for a while, but most of our staff are not that fortunate.

Praying for you and all business owners and staff who not only have to face Coronavirus but also financial ruin.

 

Get a new CPA and friends.

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For those interested, here's a GoFundMe organized by the Red River Cultural District (among others):

"The Red River Cultural District is Banding Together with the Austin live music community to support the venues, artists, creatives, service/hospitality and production workers, businesses and additional organizations that rely on SXSW, regular programming and continual income to survive.  Your donations will help provide financial relief to those in the Austin live music community that have been economically impacted by the cancellation of SXSW and COVID-19."

https://www.gofundme.com/f/bandingtogether2020

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5 hours ago, Larry T. Spider said:

Definitely agree that this will be the end of a lot of local bars and restaurants. Other than the bigger names, it will be hard to get much info on them though. Most will close for a while and simply never reopen. 

Its a really tough industry. I was reading an article about San Antonio restaurants that closed in 2019. One guy said he could have made it would 6 more customers per day. Have to image there are a lot barely getting by that this will destroy.

I'm trying to figure out if there will be lot that actually close, or if they will a) get some kind of bailout / modified bankruptcy, or b) file bankruptcy and open back up with all the infrastructure already in place under a new name...or same name (not sure that's possible - I'm not well versed in bankruptcy law)?

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I'm probably going to have to layoff 50-70% of my staff if this is prolonged, including myself. I am involved with a few companies that are going to be fine or thrive with this situation (digital only or health/death related). A few others are unknown. Two others are almost certainly going under or will have to shudder until the dust settles.

No one knows shit about this virus yet, other than it can quickly work its way through people over 70 in very deadly fashion. Does smoking matter? What about certain drugs? Are you immune once you recover? No one knows shit. There are a lot rumors and conjecture, but when dipshits like Greenspoint are still able to work fast and loose with numbers of their choosing, yeah, no one knows shit.

The one other key thing we know is that this is meteor-smashing-into-the-earth level catastrophic across the small business, sports, hospitality, entertainment, and start-up landscapes, probably the whole world over. It's got me mildly depressed, which is a rare thing and doesn't last long, but it still really sucks to witness this shit.

HenryJames texted me something yesterday that is both disturbing and poignant regarding where this is headed: The living are going to envy the dead. 

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3 minutes ago, closetojumping said:

The one other key thing we know is that this is meteor-smashing-into-the-earth level catastrophic across the small business, sports, hospitality, entertainment, and start-up landscapes, probably the whole world over. It's got me mildly depressed, which is a rare thing and doesn't last long, but it still really sucks to witness this shit.

HenryJames texted me something yesterday that is both disturbing and poignant regarding where this is headed: The living are going to envy the dead

I'm sorry to hear about your situation, but keep your head up, dude.  Take action now and keep positive as you plan mitigation for the future.  How can you adjust your businesses to support the new world?

I hate it for my kid...but I remain hopeful that doing without for a bit will have our kids grow stronger for the future.  At least...I have to hope that, otherwise I'd finish all the bourbon in my house too soon and have to go "borrow" some from the neighbors.

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I work for a medium sized mechanical contractor and it’s pretty unnerving what is going on.

No one really knows what will happen with the housing industry and new starts. Austin was on pace to blow out permits this year but we are already hearing from builders that they expect to slow significantly over the next couple of months.

The length of time is obviously going to be the main issue for everyone. 

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I just had this really fucked up sensation come over me as I envisioned the ultra-wealthy / savvy investors swooping in and taking an opportunity to accumulate more assets at a bargain price.  If the separation of wealth increases dramatically beyond what it already is, how will that affect our society?  I know my family won't end up on the winning side of this if shit gets bad.

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32 minutes ago, LebongJames said:

I work for a medium sized mechanical contractor and it’s pretty unnerving what is going on.

No one really knows what will happen with the housing industry and new starts. Austin was on pace to blow out permits this year but we are already hearing from builders that they expect to slow significantly over the next couple of months.

The length of time is obviously going to be the main issue for everyone. 

This is me.   

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If you own a building and lease to tenants, and those tenants have a good track record, I don't see the benefit in evicting because it's not like there's going to be much demand for commercial space over the next year. Lenders will probably end up getting another government subsidy -- this time in order to waive or delay lease payments.

6 hours ago, victory88 said:

I just opened my dental office about 4-5 months ago.  We’re essentially a startup.  We’re rescheduling everyone.  Some people are getting pissed and refusing to reschedule some of their surgeries and appts.

My wife pointed out to me this morning from an article this morning that your profession is the most at risk of catching an infection. I had a hygenist appointment this week that I canceled. My dentist just moved into his own building that he purcahsed and renovated, and was trying to expand his practice.

1 hour ago, CooterBrown said:

Heard from someone that would know that some major movie production companies will be sending their MAR-MAY releases direct to streaming.  He's scared for the future of Alamo. He doesn't know if they, or any theater chain can survive through the summer.

We were just discussing how fast that would happen. The theaters have a lot of political power but certainly that goes to zero if nobody wants to sit in their auditorium any longer. Will be interesting to see if/when/how long that takes to bounce back once this nightmare is over.

 

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30 minutes ago, Izhmash said:

I just had this really fucked up sensation come over me as I envisioned the ultra-wealthy / savvy investors swooping in and taking an opportunity to accumulate more assets at a bargain price.  If the separation of wealth increases dramatically beyond what it already is, how will that affect our society?  I know my family won't end up on the winning side of this if shit gets bad.

Nah, that wouldn't last long. As little faith as I have in the American people, we do have limits. We are capable of rioting in the streets. And no, it's not just the bleks or the poors. College football fans in the Midwest do it over bars closing early and shit like that. 

I predict there will be a major reset to the economy and the billionaires will be forced to cough up most of their fortunes or face the consequences. They can try to sic the army on us but the army would mutiny at some point.

This won't be pretty and the other side might not be pleasant, but I don't see a smooth concentration of still more of our wealth in fewer hands. Tensions are already simmering and nobody's even hungry yet.

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1 hour ago, CooterBrown said:

Franklin has switched to curbside pickup only.

The Aristocrat has closed until April 1.

 

Holy shit, in all my angst I never thought about the silver lining for Franklin's BBQ--no line!

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4 hours ago, gmr548 said:


 

 

 


This. We essentially have to freeze the financial system in place for a few months. It sounds radical, but these are radical times.

 

 

What the fuck are you blabbing about?  This isn't fucking make believe.  

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