BALTIMORE (WJZ) — As more COVID-19 restrictions take effect across Maryland, businesses already dealing with uncertain futures have been turning to some unique methods to keep their doors open.

Business owners have been ready for foot traffic, but customers are few and far between.

“I think we’re all trying to make the best of a bad situation,” chef and owner of Duck Duck Goose Restaurant Asish Alfred said.

Alfred is encouraging customers to BYOB — bring your own blanket — and set up for dinner outside on the patio where he has invested in heaters.

“At the end of the day, the only thing that’s going to save us is our clients,” he said.

Earlier this week, Gov. Larry Hogan implemented 50% capacity limits on restaurants, but some counties like Baltimore County and Baltimore City took those measures a step further, limiting restaurant capacity to no more than 25%.

“You can’t go nowhere and do what you’re used to, you’re scared to even have family get-togethers,” said Doug Salmon from Louisville, Kentucky, who is visiting Maryland for a wedding.

That wedding has been scaled down drastically. Something else their family has noticed is how early businesses are closing their doors at night.

“It’s sad, businesses are shutting down everywhere. Rebecca Wilkinson said. “We came here and everything was closed and it was like 6 o’clock.”

In Baltimore County, Sassanova Store’s owner Angela Tandy knew this was coming, so she started making plans for all her locations that she hopes will make it through the holidays and survive the pandemic.

“We’re available for private appointments, we’re available for FaceTime appointments, we will open the store before and after (and) do curbside pick up if they desire,” she said.

Another business owner said earlier this week it’s “Buy Local or say bye-bye to local.”

Their hope is that customers will continue to support them directly even if that’s not visiting their stores in person. One business owner added one way to do that is to order directly through a restaurant rather than using third-party apps like DoorDash or GrubHub that take a cut of the transaction.

Ava-joye Burnett

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