For nearly 20 years, Bridget McGinty and her sister ran Tastebuds, a popular lunch spot in downtown Cleveland.
On May 1, she made the torturous decision to close it forever after keeping it on life support for weeks after being closed due to the COVID-19 lockdowns.
McGinty's story is tragically all too common.
America's small businesses, the backbone of its economy, have been ravaged by the COVID-19 lockdowns.
A recent survey by Main Street America found that 7.5 million small businesses in America are at risk of closing their doors for good. A more recent survey showed that even with federal loans, close to half of all small business owners say they'll have to shut down for good.
The toll has already been severe. In New York alone, stay-at-home orders have forced the permanent closure of more than 100,000 small businesses.
"Small businesses are taking a real beating," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said, adding that minority-owned businesses were the most at-risk. "They are 90 percent of New York's businesses and they're facing the toughest challenges."
Some might argue these closures are regrettable but ultimately acceptable losses in a necessary war against a uniquely deadly virus; but there are problems with this theory.