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The Red Barn owner concerned about summer business amid coronavirus pandemic

"If I don't make it through this summer, I won't make it at all," said owner Laura Benedict.

AUGUSTA, Maine — The Red Barn restaurant in Augusta is known for helping others. It holds fundraisers for people in the community every summer, and now it needs some help of its own.

"I've been crying myself to sleep," said owner Laura Benedict.

Owner Laura Benedict had to close her seafood restaurant for 46 days. She lost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

"My main concern is the safety of my customers and then keeping 35 families employed. These people have been here for decades," said Benedict.

She recently opened back up for takeout but said 80 percent of her business comes from tourists. She doesn't know if her business will survive through the summer with the 14-day quarantine for people coming into the state.

"I only make money four months out of the year. And I lost obviously April and if we lose August and September, which I'm hoping we won't, everything is on hold. My life is on pause," said Benedict.

State Senator Matt Pouliot said Benedict isn't alone.

"She is a great business owner. She is committed to this community. She has a loyal following of customers, but the bottom line is the 14-day quarantine going into place for the state of Maine, is making it very difficult for our economy to be able to be successful this summer," said Pouliot.

Benedict posted about her situation on Facebook. It has more than 3,000 likes. One person commented saying 'when I'm in Maine I plan trips to Red Barn.'

"I know I'm just one of a million businesses feeling this way," said Benedict.

She said right now the locals are keeping her going, but she doesn't know what the future holds.

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