Business owners cope with power outages on top of slower pandemic operations
For businesses already struggling with the pandemic, power issues have delivered another crushing blow.
Over 100,000 PSEG customers remained without power Thursday, including The Chicken Coop in Huntington. They were supposed to be ready for a lunch rush, but instead are trying to figure out how to save thousands of dollars in chickens in their coolers.
"We have a good estimate and it makes me want to cry because we're never going to get it back," says Alison Schlitz, owner of The Chicken Coop.
The Chicken Coop opened just three weeks before COVID-19 shut everything down, putting them in a brutal spot as is. Friends have bought generators to help them out.
The business has been without power since Tuesday, tacking on thousands in lost profit to go along with more money they've lost in the past five months.
"How do we save everything we just purchased? Then, you know, for short haul, long haul and now we're on the long haul version we're hooking up generators today to try to preserve anything we can ... it's helped so far but we go any further, we don't know how well we'll do it," says Michael Schlitz, owner of The Chicken Coop.
Restaurant owners say they've been told by PSEGLI that it may be sometime on Saturday when they get their power back. But with over 300,000 restorations to this point, they're hoping it's coming any minute.
Just down the street in Huntington, another business not only lacked power, but also had a ton of debris cleanup to deal with.
Michael Hubert, owner of Funk and Swagger Antiques, says he spent the last day cleaning up what he could, and is now thinking about doing whatever work he can outside without power.
"I am still paying back rent so yes to have the store closed is extremely disappointing," says Hubert.