Small business owners in Thomasville ask for assistance from the city

Small business owners in Thomasville ask for assistance from the city

THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WALB) - Small businesses are getting hit hard during this national emergency.

The owners of Sweet Grass Dairy and Cheese Shop and Liam’s Restaurant said they’re struggling to make ends meet during this pandemic.

Many shops and restaurants have cut their hours and stopped inside seating.

“COVID-19 has been awful for a small business,” said Jessica Little, owner of Sweet Grass Dairy and Cheese Shop.

Small Business Owners Ask for Assistance from Thomasville officials
Small Business Owners Ask for Assistance from Thomasville officials (Source: WALB)

Little and her husband have owned Sweet Grass Dairy and Cheese Shop Downtown for more than a decade.

She said they’re trying to be creative during this uncertain time.

“We’re trying to come up with ways to stay in business just for survival at this point,” said Little.

Open since 2002, owner of Liam’s Restaurant, Rhonda Foster, says they’re just trying to send products out the door.

“To maintain as much staff as we can, because even though our businesses are small, those 10 to 15 people that work for us rely on us to pay their bills,” said Foster.

The Main Street program started curbside pickup to help abide by the CDC guidelines of social distancing.

They are able to sell beer and wine curbside, but Little and Foster both say their sales are down about 70 percent.

They said adding liquor to ‘to go meals’ would help with revenue.

“Add cocktails. Loosen their grip a little bit. Doing liquor sales for us is just about adding that extra little amount of money to our incoming sales. It’s our lemonade stand per se,” explained Foster.

Jessica Little, Owner of Sweet Grass Dairy and Cheese Shop Rhonda Foster, Owner of Liam’s Restaurant
Jessica Little, Owner of Sweet Grass Dairy and Cheese Shop Rhonda Foster, Owner of Liam’s Restaurant (Source: WALB)

Little and Foster said they believe the city is very proactive in helping small businesses.

“Festivals, First Friday’s and things like that. Like they really do promote our downtown,” said Foster.

“Thomasville has been so generous and wonderful to promote small business, so I would love to see them step up and help at this time as well,” Little told us.

They also said giving more grace with utilities would be a big help during this time.

Foster said this is an urgent situation for them, but they don’t feel the same sense of urgency from the city.

“We’re trying to save jobs for the people that we have left, but we’re also trying to meet a community need,” said Little.

We asked for a statement from city manager Alan Carson on this matter.

“At this time the Thomasville City Council has indicated that they will not be taking up this issue,” said Carson.

Little and Foster both said this isn’t about profitability, it’s about survival.

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