By: KDKA-TV News Staff
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The fresh start of the new year means much more to business owners heading into 2021.
Business owners are ready to move forward on Monday after Governor Tom Wolf lifts coronavirus restrictions. On Monday, in-person businesses will operate at 75 percent occupancy, while indoor dining, entertainment venues, gyms and spas will resume at 50 percent occupancy.
While the restrictions expire next week, so has the opportunity for gym owner John Rossmiller to score new members looking to drop those pandemic pounds in the new year.
“Everything dropped off. People aren’t even going to look,” said Rossmiller, the owner of Altus Gym in downtown Pittsburgh. “They’re just like, eh, gyms are closed.”
When the state clamped down, Rossmiller closed to the public, launched virtual training and stopped accepting new members. But he did allow pre-existing members to use the facility.
“That’s just what you have to do if you want to survive,” he said.
Before having to pop a cork in their indoor dining operations, Corey Pistininzi and Sean Watson, the co-owners of BotL — a recently opened bar and restaurant in New Kensington — were on pace for their biggest month on record.
“Things were growing rapidly. We got kicked down a little bit and then this really took our feet out from under us,” said Pistininzi.
Instead of counting their earnings, they are losing count of their losses, to the tune of several thousand dollars in inventory alone.
And those supply orders are being placed again ahead of Monday for the new business just trying to advance.
“This whole year and this whole thing has been all about getting permission to move forward with a very large investment. We are ready to put it all behind us and move forward,” said Watson.
Business owners say while they are planning to reopen, they are also making contingency plans just in case they are ordered to close again.