Another Chattanooga Restaurant Closes, Local Owners Demand Pandemic Relief Grants

The Coronavirus And Related Restrictions Have Taken Their Toll On Local Chattanooga Business With Yet Another Small Business Having To Close Its Doors. Local Small Businesses Hoped The Current Plan For Dissemination Of COVID Relief Funds Would Help, But Decisions Were Made On The City Level To Push Any Aid Until Next Year.

Should local officials continue to discourage eating out at restaurants that struggle to enter the take-out/delivery market?

Chattanooga, TN – The iconic Flatiron Deli has officially announced permanent closure after suffering immensely from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The local restaurant will be closing their doors after the 23rd of December.

“Covid has taken its toll and it is no longer sustainable. Thank you all for your loyal business.”, the Flatiron Deli Manager said.

The Chattanoogan.com notes that the deli has its own special charm, with old brick walls and a cozy setting that allowed for around 30 patrons.

Located in the Flatiron Building facing Walnut Street, the deli has been well known for their sandwiches, salads, and deserts.

Many believed that the second much needed stimulus bill would temporarily remedy the problem of small business failures, but that does not appear to be the case.

Elizabeth Saint-Clair, owner of Charlie’s BBQ and Bakery in Chattanooga, expressed to WDEF that the new stimulus plan won’t be enough.

She also took issue with the idea of giving small businesses loans during this time.

“We’re not too inclined on the bill that they’re proposing right now. One, we probably won’t receive any more money and the paycheck protection is a loan. If at any point you don’t use the funds specifically or they don’t like the way you’ve used the funds, you’re stuck in another loan – and that just hurts you more than it did to begin with,” said Elizabeth Saint-Clair.

She went on to explain the positive effect that small business grants would have on the Chattanooga economy.

“It needs to be a grant program, and it needs to go to the small guys. It doesn’t need to go to someone who owns a five-chain restaurant with five hundred employees. It needs to go to the operators who have ten employees, twenty employees, thirty employees. We’re the ones that are truly struggling to hang on.”, said Saint-Clair.

“Chattanooga is built on small business. That’s what makes us cool – that’s what brings the tourism in, that’s what helps our economy. We employ ten people in the local community, and so for us it’s heartbreaking to think payroll to payroll, how are we going to make it?”

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