Several Springfield businesses close permanently amid the pandemic

Several Springfield businesses have permanently closed in the last six months just like thousands of other businesses across the nation due to the coronaviru pandemic.

“In the wake of COVID-19 cases increasing and local restrictions continuing to change in many states we’re seeing both permanent and temporary closures rise across the nation, with 60% of those closed businesses not reopening (97,966 permanently closed),” Yelp’s September Local Economic Impact Report said.

Less than two months into the pandemic, Collier’s Family Restaurant, previously located on W. First St., announced that they were not reopening.

“Times are always tough for mom and pop businesses, but this month and a half (at least) shutdown has just done us in,” a post on Collier’s Family Restaurant Facebook page in April said.

The restaurant was a staple in the community since 2003.

“This place has become my home where I looked forward to seeing my (work) family and all of our customers that have become great friends of ours over the years,” the post said. “We will surely miss being in all of your lives. I’m sorry that we will not have a place to gather at anymore.”

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A downtown Springfield restaurant, Seasons Bistro and Grille, previously located on S. Limestone St., announced in May the business was closing after 12 years.

“It’s been a struggle for all 12 years we’ve been open, but it was never on the forefront of our mind (to close),” Doug McGregor, co-owner of Seasons Bistro and Grille said. “We loved this restaurant and wanted to keep it going forever.”

McGregor opened the regional dining destination with his sister, Margaret Mattox after they moved back to Springfield.

“We always loved our downtown,” Mattox said. “It is beautiful, historic, we have memories of being downtown as kids and we just wanted to do what we could to help that movement to revitalize.”

Seasons Bistro and Grille was one of the first restaurants to open in downtown Springfield as the city worked to revitalize its core.

Mattox described the restaurant industry as “a challenging one.”

“We tried our best to make it work but between the loss of catering sales and a decline in restaurant sales due to the pandemic, what was already a significant challenge, became virtually impossible for us.”

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Snow Cove, a summertime destination, decided to close their storefront at the Clark County Heritage Center building due to social distancing requirements.

“Unfortunately we are closing the storefront this year,” Micah Level, owner of Snow Cove said. “We won’t be able to operate properly. With only one door to our space, we would only be able to allow one person in the store at a time due to COVID-19.”

He added, “This isn’t conducive for serving customers.”

For three years, Snow Cove offered almost 40 standard flavors of shaved ice with house-made syrups and at least 11 premium flavors of Hershey’s ice cream.

Even though they won’t be coming back to the storefront in the future, Level said they are keeping the shaved ice equipment for catering or pop ups.

“We enjoyed serving up the shaved ice to the community,” Level said. “We look forward to catering corporate and community events.”

According to Yelp, the restaurant industry is among the most impacted during the pandemic.

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“Breakfast and brunch restaurants, burger joints, sandwich shops, dessert places and Mexican restaurants are among the types of restaurants with the highest rate of business closures,” the report said.

Horror Acres Haunted House, a Springfield haunted attraction on Springfield Jamestown Road, decided to not reopen this year.

“We are permanently closed,” Horror Acres Haunted House posted on their Facebook page in July. “We have decided that last year was our final year.”

The News-Sun reached out to the haunted house, but did not hear back. The reason behind the closure is unknown.

According to Yelp, Ohio is among the top 15 states with the largest number of business closures since March 1.

“Yelp closure data shows that businesses providing home, local and professional services have been able to withstand the effects of the pandemic particularly well,” the report said. “But despite bright spots in some sectors, restaurants and retail continue to struggle and total closures nationwide have started to increase.”

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