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COVID-19 causing some businesses to close for good

Governor Mills has declared all non-essential businesses closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. For some, that means closing altogether.

HERMON, Maine — As many businesses close down due to COVID-19, some are still filling online orders or offering curbside pickup to try to get by. But for others, it's not that simple and COVID-19 may cause them to close for good.

Just Down the Road Grille in Hermon announced its closure on Facebook earlier this week. As did Sherman's Maine Coast Book Store, which announced it would close its Camden store and hopes to reopen stores in Bar Harbor, Boothbay Harbor, Damariscotta, Freeport and Portland in the spring.

Sherman's also taking to Facebook, "...We will miss our loyal customers, friends - both 2 and 4-legged. We wish you all peace and good health and hope to see you all very soon..."

"It wouldn't have been responsible to be open it wouldn't have been responsible to expose our staff or the customers who come in," Eaton told NEWS CENTER Maine.

The Eaton's quickly realized they would have to close their restaurant for good.

"It came to quite a surprise I mean everything seemed to kick in right at once," he said.

Other business owners still staying open but echoing the same feeling.

"To be honest, it's scary," Gibran Graham, owner of the Briar Patch in Bangor, said.

The Briar Patch has been taking orders over the phone and offering audiobook downloads.

"We don't know exactly how long this is going to be how we do business," Graham said.

Serendipitous in Bangor is using a similar curbside model. Customers can order furniture online or over the phone and pick it up on the front steps.

Credit: NEWS CENTER Maine

The Mills administration tells NEWS CENTER Maine in a statement:

"Governor Mills knows small businesses are the backbone of Maine’s economy, and she is deeply concerned about the toll COVID-19 is taking on them. The actions she has taken to respond to the virus were not ones that she took lightly, but she believes, based on the recommendations of the Maine CDC and her Coronavirus Response Team, that they were necessary to protect public health and mitigate its spread. Her Administration is doing all it can to allow businesses to continue their operations to the extent that they do not interact with the public. Under Governor Mills, Maine was also one of the first states to request and receive approval from the SBA to allow small businesses to seek support loans. She recognizes that COVID-19 is going to continue to impact these businesses and she is hopeful that Congress can deliver robust support and relief to Maine’s small business community. She has spoken to Maine’s Congressional Delegation about that critical issue and knows they are working hard on it."

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