At the Rambling Root restaurant in Fairmont, the lights have been dimmed and chairs and tables are stacked in the corner. The bar, usually crowded with locals sipping craft beer, is empty.
Since the state closed all nonessential business due to COVID-19, sales are down by more than 40 percent, said owner D.J. Cassell. He’s had to lay off 10 of his 12 staffers, and a few have already said they won’t be able to come back.
“It sucks, because I am doing everything I can right now to keep the lights on and the doors open here, but if I don’t get some help then — if we close down, I don’t know if we’ll ever open back up,” he said.