Coronavirus forcing Triangle businesses to find creative ways to stay afloat


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The payroll protection program is helping many businesses stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic. Still, many Triangle businesses are being forced to get creative to cut costs.

“When tourism just literally completely stops, I think the entire community really is now seeing the impact,” said Dennis Edwards, CEO of the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau.

With at least 20 hotels closed and restaurants cut back to curbside service, Edwards said Wake County has lost at least $50 million in tax revenue.

“Every day that goes by it’s getting tougher, and tougher for hotels and restaurants to survive,” said Edwards. “I’m not even talking about retail and other businesses.”

One business that’s been impacted by stay-at-home orders is the Rialto Theater. It’s been a staple in the Five Points area of Ralegh for decades.

“The Rialto can’t survive without some type of income,” said Peter Corson.

Corson, President of Cinema, Inc., said his organization had to cancel their cinema series scheduled to run at Rialto through October.

Corson said that, in an effort to bring people to the box office, the Rialto is selling popcorn to help pay the bills.

“Whether or not anybody comes to the theatre, he has fixed expenses every month,” Corson said.

“The sooner we can turn this around, the better,” Edwards said.

Popcorn can be bought to support the Rialto from 4 to 6 p.m. on Friday.

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