How much money did the Atlanta water crisis cost local businesses?

How much money did the Atlanta water crisis cost local businesses?

While water may be back on in the city of Atlanta following major water main breaks last week, the financial impact is far from over.

RELATED NEWS: Major Midtown street reopened after water main break repairs

Two major water main breaks in Midtown and Vine City caused many to lose water, including small businesses. Some had to temporarily close their doors to adjust how they did business.

“I would say I lost close to about $3,000. I’m a small businessman already hanging on a vine right now,” Lance Robertson, co-owner of SBD+, said.

“We’re looking at $4-5,000 a day. It’s a lot of money for a small business,” Trinket Lewis, owner of MoreLyfe Juice Co. added.

While others, like Eleventh Street Pub, have yet to re-open.

“We have to see how much moisture is in the place. We have to do mold remediation. We don’t know, we have no idea when we’re going to be able to reopen,” Michael Taylor, Eleventh Street Pub Owner, explained.

“We don’t know what would likely have been spent. We can sort of do some ex-post analysis, but I suspect it’s in the tens of millions of dollars,” Tom Smith, Finance Professor at Emory University, said.

Mayor Andre Dickens has since announced a $5 million relief fund for businesses. While it will help, experts say it likely won’t cover all the losses for small businesses.

“They may be covered cents on the dollar, maybe 25 cents or maybe 10 cents on the dollar. Certainly helpful, but it probably is not going to cover everything. But then again, it would be very difficult, I think, for the city to come up with funds to cover everybody’s potential losses,” Smith explained.

As the city works to repair and replace its aging water infrastructure, which Mayor Dickens said would cost billions to complete, experts say the long term economic impact of the crisis is still up in the air.

“Georgia is one of the top states in terms of being a business-friendly state, and Atlanta has a lot of feathers in its caps in respect to Fortune 500 companies’ headquarters, if you will, international presence. Will the fact that we have aging infrastructure give a pause to potential businesses, I think that needs evaluating. That could be a serious threat to our economy,” Smith said.

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Source Link: https://www.fox5atlanta.com/news/atlanta-water-crisis-main-breaks-financial-impact

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