Businesses in Tenleytown respond to COVID-19

Restaurants change practices and still remain hopeful

Businesses in Tenleytown respond to COVID-19

People stand near the Tenleytown Metro stop in 2014.

Although Mayor Muriel Bowser lifted D.C.’s stay-at-home order on Friday, local businesses will still feel the impact of changing their practices to adhere to the new normal of practices.

As restaurants were only able to serve takeout orders under the mayor's regulations, restaurants have deeply suffered. In Tenleytown, many restaurants rely on AU students for their sales. Some owners have said there is uncertainty about their economic circumstances for this coming fall, as they are waiting to find out whether or not students will return to campus.

Under phase one of Bowser's reopening, restaurants are allowed to serve customers for outdoor seating.

Roberto Salgado, the general manager of the Tenleytown District Taco, said that sales have decreased by roughly 75 percent since the stay-at-home order. Takeout orders, however, have increased by 50 percent. He said that he and his employees are taking business “day-by-day.” 

Certain businesses, however, have benefited from the social restrictions imposed by the order. Conte’s Bike Shop experienced an influx of bike purchases and repairs, as a result of an increase in outdoor activities. Emily, an employee at the shop, said that they’re actually “running out of bikes.” 

“There are so many families nearby that student buyers don’t make up a huge portion of the sales,” she said.

Although relief is being provided for businesses, challenges are still seen. 

The District’s Economic Recovery Team is supporting workforce activity for reopening, and the Economic Injury Disaster Loans provide economic support for small businesses that have lost revenue. In Tenleytown, with so much being dependent on student activity and sales, the future of these businesses is uncertain. 

smattalian@theeagleonline.com

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