Restaurant hosts fundraisers to help a other small businesses forced to close amid pandemic

Posted at 1:20 PM, Apr 22, 2020

Small businesses across the country are stepping up to help each other amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

While many restaurants have been allowed to stay open in a limited capacity--offering take-out or delivery only--some are choosing to help those businesses that weren't able to keep their doors open at all.

"We're blessed that we’re able to do that. We’re one of the few restaurants in the area that are open,” said Mary Brandstetter, owner of Bourbon House Pizza in Florence, Kentucky. “There are a lot, like the salon in our complex, has shut down."

Brandstetter says they've felt lucky that so many people in the community have come out to support them. The restaurant, famous for its Chicago-style pizza, has been serving customers exclusively through curbside pick-up and has not had to lay off any staff.

"There are a few salons where their stylists come in all the time, even before this whole pandemic started. And then, we even noticed that during the beginning of it, they were still coming in and we were just like, they are still supporting us. We need to return the favor," said Stephanie Brandstetter, the manager of the restaurant.

Bourbon House Pizza held a fundraiser for Salon Obsession, the hair salon next door that had to lock their doors. They donated 30 percent of the proceeds from Monday's sales to Gina McIntyre's business.

"It could definitely help a lot,” McIntyre said. “I have a brick-and-mortar space. I have to pay for and the bills and utilities and insurance that don't go away just because I'm closed."

Salon Obsession had to lay off 16 employees. They've tried to stay relevant to their clients with gift card promotions and online retail sales but are thankful for the generosity of their neighboring business.

Bourbon House Pizza has done two fundraisers so far and is planning to do at least four more for several other hair salons, a bar and a chiropractic office. They hope these fundraisers keep small businesses afloat during the coronavirus pandemic.