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Hundreds of workers laid off at Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre

Businesses cutting staff due to COVID-19 concerns
Posted at 11:49 PM, Mar 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-17 23:49:14-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Local businesses taking a major hit due to the rising concerns of COVID-19.

Florida's governor, Ron DeSantis, has ordered all bars and night clubs to close for the next 30 days.

Rstaurants can only serve half of their usual capacity.

The owner at the Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre told Fox 4 he has no choice but to lay off hundreds of employees.

“This happens in the month of August and we are only serving two thousand people a week, its a different story, instead of it being March when we are serving four to five thousand people a week, ” said Will Prather.

This is supposed to be peak season for many business owners in Sout West Florida, so a lack of business could’nt have come at a worst time.

“You count on this month to be your big month as a business here in SWFL, and now its going to head up being one of your worst months,” said Prather.

The Theatre has temporarily laid-off 246 employees.

Fox 4 spoke to former server, Jody Fish, who’s son has been laid off at the theatre, yet despite the news she is still optimistic.

“We have always made it through, its been difficult, but we’ve always found a way to make it through. I’m sure we’ll make it through this, ” said Fish.

Yesterday, she filed for unemployment and has already begun brainstorming ideas to make ends meet.

“I sell the wax candle stuff and I bake i might get a little bit more into that...to help me out, ” said Jody Fish.

The owner of Broadway Palm, says they hope to reopen on April 9th.

“I think there will be a new normal when we do open back up. I think there is going to be some changes in our operation in the fact that we are probably going to be living with the coronavirus in our community in some way for the indefinate future, ” said Will Prather.

The theatre says they will automatically honor all tickets purchased for shows during the temporary closing for future use.