THOMASVILLE, N.C. — A once budding area for shopping local has now turned into a quiet street with little activity ever since the pandemic forced Thomasville business owners to temporarily shut their doors.
“It’s been pretty detrimental. It’s been a struggle,” said Glenn Fesko.
Fesko manages a bar called The Alibi on Salem Street. For four months he’s seen no customers and no cash flow.
“We’ve spent a lot of time trying to build up that downtown atmosphere, and the past four months have really put a damper on that,” Fesko explained.
Not everyone is going to make it through the closures. Retail shops like Salem Vintage and Refined and Co. recently announced they’re going out of business.
“It’s hard to get people to come out and shop here in Thomasville,” Fesko stated.
Foot traffic even before the pandemic, Glenn says, was hard to achieve in Thomasville.
“Some weeks are good and some are really bad. You really have to struggle to save and prepare for those rainy days,” said business owner JJ Ring.
Ring, who operates Main St. Cone & Coffee and JJ’s Side Street Deli, agrees with Fesko.
“Thomasville’s a tough crowd. It’s hard to get people to come out downtown and actually support. People want things, but you actually have to come out and support,” Ring said.
In response to the struggle, Keith Tobin who serves as president of the Thomasville Chamber of Commerce, sent the following to FOX8:
“It’s sad to see that businesses that were making great strides before the pandemic now having to close. We continue to encourage our community to support all our businesses – but particularly our small businesses.”
“We’re hanging in there. Not very strongly, but we are. We’re hanging in,” Fesko stated, who also works at the restaurant Cross Ties.
The owners of Salem Vintage are opening their doors one more time Saturday morning for a liquidation sale.
The sale goes from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.