RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Between COVID-19 causing staff and product shortages and winter storm closures throughout January, Raleigh restaurants are not looking to shut down again this weekend.

Jason Smith, owner of Cantina 18, said the winter is traditionally a tougher time for small business owners.

“January is always our hardest month,” Smith said. “The weather is always an issue, credit card bills, dry January, diet, New Year’s resolutions.”

Smith said he closed during last week’s winter storm, but is now keeping doors open rain, snow or shine.

“We’re going to be open this weekend, we’re gonna be ready to do business. I’ve got a 4-wheel-drive vehicle,” Smith said.

He says flexibility has become the key ingredient in keeping the doors open and he hopes for better — and dryer — days ahead.

“I own and operate a restaurant for 12 years in a shopping center that I shopped in as a child,” Smith said. “That’s not something I take for granted and it’s something I’m gonna keep doing for a long time to come.”

The operational manager at Whiskey Kitchen, Jared Bouchard, said they added extra heaters and tables to the outdoor patio during the COVID-19 pandemic, but cold weather has kept people indoors.

“There have been people who want to sit outside but it’s just too cold to sit outside. So they’re either not coming or they’re biting the bullet and sitting inside,” Bouchard said.