More businesses announce closures and layoffs in July

Coronavirus

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Many businesses shut their doors back in March. But some reopened only to find that the cost of doing business outweighed the income coming in.

This is what happened to one Maui business, Maui Tropical Plantation and the Mill House Restaurant. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, they would see around 1400 visitors a day. When they reopened in June, that went down to less than a quarter of their usual visitors. That is why the business made the decision to close and let go of about 300 workers.

“We need to really limit the costs because it’s a big operation. So that we have eventually more of a chance later to regroup and reopen when the economy starts up again,” said Francesco Greco, Maui Tropical Plantation general manager.

In July, some businesses have also announced additional layoffs.

T-Mobile recently announced it is eliminating 27 workers, after laying off four people just last month.

Aaron Placourakis, president and CEO of Tri Star restaurants and founder of Maui Hui for restaurant owners said cutting positions is the first thing businesses can do to lower costs.

“If you pay less employees, it will cost you less, but you’re also diluting your business plan, per say. So, it’s a tradeoff. you have to decide, if you’re doing less business then you need less people,” said Placourakis.

He said each business is different and how they survive depends on their circumstances.

“All you can do is stay positive, be focused on our employees’ welfare and the community. and be ready willing and able to reopen when it’s safe to do so. That’s really all you can do. That gives you the best chance of survival,” said Placourakis.

For now, Maui Tropical Plantation will continue its farming business, but will not be open to the public.

That is something Greco hopes will change.

“I promise you, we will reopen again because this is a historical place. It has an emotional attachment for all of us,” said Greco.

Maui Tropical Plantation said one of the ways they’ll be boosting money into the business is by having a sale on the items they have left in their shop. The sale starts today and ends Thursday. It will be held between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

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