(WGGB/WSHM) -- Over 38,000 more Massachusetts residents filed for unemployment benefits last week, but as a reopening date for many businesses is still unknown, some local business owners are feeling the pinch.
A local restaurant owner told us that he has had to lay off just about all of his employees and now waiting for a Phase 2 reopening, he's hoping for the best.
"You’re talking about almost a quarter of our revenue for the year, so it’s been really difficult,” said Tom Murphy, managing partner of several local restaurants.
The national coronavirus shutdown caused many businesses to close their doors, but the extended closure is leaving many Massachusetts establishments struggling.
“We first started feeling the pinch with our food truck that business, as you can imagine, evaporated as colleges are closing, as people were canceling events,” Murphy noted.
Murphy told Western Mass News they have two bars in Amherst, McMurphy’s Uptown Tavern and Stackers Pub, Paddy’s Irish Pub in Springfield, and Murphy’s Pub in Agawam - all of which have temporarily closed down.
“It’s been really difficult, I mean, not only for us, but for our employees. Between the four different locations, we probably employ close to 100 people, so it’s hard for us, it’s hard for our staff. Everyone’s on pins and needles, waiting to see when we can open to get back to work,” Murphy said.
Murphy told Western Mass News he has had to lay off almost everybody after realizing the challenges of curbside takeout at a restaurant centered around their dine-in experience.
“We just decided to shut it down. We thought it would be best to save money and try to get through this,” Murphy noted.
However, now, he said he is slowly dipping his toes back in the water - opening up the food truck in Murphy’s Pub parking lot.
“I figured we would see what happens by rolling out a limited menu with that on our food truck…kind of a cool novelty thing,” Murphy explained.
He said the response on social media has been positive.
“I think people are really looking to get back out and try different things,” Murphy said.
The food truck will open beginning Friday at 4 p.m. and will remain open for the coming weeks.