Business owners worry NC’s rising case counts could delay phase 3

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Phase two of Governor Cooper’s executive order is set to expire Friday afternoon.

North Carolina leaders want coronavirus numbers to go down before the state moves to phase three.

Instead, numbers are going in the opposite direction.

Greenville restaurant owners worry rising cases could delay the next phase of reopening or, worse, lead back to phase one.

“It would be really, really tough,” said Bret Oliverio, owner of Sup Dogs.

He says a move back to phase one could be a blow to businesses in the East.

“If we move back to phase one, we would lose a ton of money,” he said. “It would financially be really, really challenging.”

Oliverio says a lot of preparation went into the move to reopening phase two.

“If you think about the businesses–all the food we’ve purchased, all the alcohol, supplies preparing for phase two–to take a step back to phase one would financially be a huge hit,” he said.

But he says safety is top priority.

“What’s good for everyone’s health is first and foremost,” said Oliverio. “From a business standpoint, I want us open, operating safely and distanced.”

Manager at Jack Brown’s Beer and Burger Joint, Adam Lorjuste, says it’s difficult running a restaurant that partially relies on alcohol sales.

“It’s a lot harder to sell beer when you’re just running takeout and/or delivery kind of operation,” said Lorjuste. “We’re definitely concerned about people’s safety and we want permanently out of this. So if that’s what needs to happen, I guess that’s what needs to happen. But it definitely would be hard on the business and tough for us.”

Either way, both restaurants will continue serving their customers’ needs in a safe and socially distant manner.

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