‘We need that right now’; Business owner says remaining COVID restrictions help businesses financially – KMOV.com

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‘We need that right now’; Business owner says remaining COVID restrictions help businesses financially – KMOV.com

ST. LOUIS (KMO

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ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) — Bars and restaurants in St. Louis County and City are able to open this weekend with no curfew or capacity restrictions for the first time in over a year. 

“The weather is nice so I’m enjoying myself, it’s Mother’s Day weekend,” said Belleville resident Demiatrius Stuckey. 

Stuckey was in the Central West End for doctor’s appointment and decided to stay for awhile after hearing live music. 

“I’ve been vaccinated so I’m ready to travel and get out and stop wearing masks,” said Stuckey. 

Stuckey sat just outside the area designated for the Central West End’s Streatery. As part of the Streatery, a portion of Euclid is blocked off and filled with tables and chairs so people can dine outside.

In St. Louis County, Cobalt Smoke & Sea owner, Bernadette Faasen, said the county lifted restrictions just in time for patio season. She also serves on the restaurant advisory board, which works with the county on restrictions. 

Right now, masks indoors and tables being six feet apart are the only remaining restrictions in St. Louis County and City. 

“For us right now, even thought we are at ‘100% with the six foot rule’ it still allows us to qualify for some type of federal funding, especially with the employee retention credit,” said Faasen. 

The employee retention credit allows businesses to receive a tax credit from the federal government equal to 70 percent of employee wages. To qualify, businesses must be:

  • Making less than 50 percent of what they made during the same time last year

         OR

  • Under a restriction from the government because of COVID

Due to restaurants only being allowed to offer carry-out this time last year and therefore most making less money, the six-feet rule is what qualifies many restaurants for this credit. 

“We need that right now,” said Faasen. “It’s not like St. Louis County restaurants are rolling in and banking all of this money, we’re just making up for the lost funds of what we have personally had to put in to and take away from our own personal families to survive.”

News 4 contacted the county and city asking when masks will no longer be required indoors and tables won’t have to be spaced six feet apart. The city health department said it is following the CDC’s guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID. We did not receive a message back from the county.

Copyright 2021 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

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