Restaurants in trouble as COVID-19 restrictions continue

Michael Brock

After Gov. Jay Inslee last week extended the restrictions on social gatherings, restaurants, bars and gyms through January 4, the Washington Hospitality Association now forecasts that nearly half of the restaurants across the state will shutter by the end of 2021.

Well over six months into the pandemic, almost 3,000 establishments in Washington have already shut their doors, while another 3,000 are projected to close in the next year — a total of 45% if proven true.

“The governor’s announcement today to extend the shutdown another three weeks means that thousands of restaurants will continue to suffer and over a hundred thousand people will continue to be unemployed through the holiday season,” Anthony Anton, president and CEO of the association said during a press conference last Tuesday.

WHA recently completed a program where each restaurant in the state was contacted to determine if they’re open.

“What we’ve learned from that impact is the dominant source of loss so far has been among independent restaurants, with 90% of the restaurants closed being considered independent,” Anton said. “And then a really high number of them [are] based in various ethnic categories.”

Read the full story in the Dec. 16 edition of the Deer Park Tribune.