65% of Hawaii restaurants expect to close in six months, HRA meets with Mayor Caldwell

Coronavirus

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Almost two-thirds of Hawaii’s restaurants say they are unlikely to stay open in six months.

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That’s according to a survey by the National Restaurant Association.

The HRA had originally thought that 40% of restaurants locally would not make it.

“When I saw the results that said 65% of the people are going to close within the next six months that startled me because that’s way higher than the 40% that I anticipated,” HRA Chairman Greg Maples said.

The study found more grim statistics coming from local restaurants.

“62% of them are going to continue to furlough people within the next 30 days,” Maples added. “It’s very concerning and for good reason. They can’t pay their rent, they can’t pay their utility bills, especially during the shutdown.”

The HRA chair met with Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell Tuesday evening. In a press conference Monday Mayor Caldwell was adamant about doing his best to keep businesses from shutting their doors again.

“I appreciated that the mayor is using so many, not only just professionals, but using data from all over to help put this process together,” Maples said. “And so I think one of the things he said that I really appreciated is he said, ‘I don’t want us to ever shut down again. That is just not in the cards.'”

Maples also shut down rumors at a HRA meeting that took place revealing that Caldwell planned to keep bars closed indefinitely, and keep restaurants closed for four weeks.

“The facts that were in there were twisted because I can tell you having seen what the Mayor is considering is not even close to what was put out there,” Maples said. “So it’s just unfortunate that that kind of stuff happens.”

Recently the CDC reported that people who tested positive for COVID-19 were twice as likely to have dined in a restaurant in the two weeks prior.

“I think anybody who goes in and reads it will quickly realize that this does not pertain to number one, restaurants in Hawaii. And number two, it was a very small sampling,” Maples said. “It was 300 and some odd people over 10 states. The results were that somebody who tested positive for COVID at some point in the last two weeks had eaten in a restaurant. Well, they’d also been to Costco and they’ve also been to Lowe’s. So there was no causation there.”

To read the entire CDC report, click here.

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