ATLANTA - Small businesses are still struggling nearly a year into the COVID-19 pandemic. Two Atlanta restaurant owners got the chance to express their concerns about the pandemic's impact on their business to President Joe Biden.
The video was posted by the White House on social media.
Overnight, our business dropped to 75%," explained Samir Idnani, owner of NaanStop, "It was scary in the beginning and lead to a lot of uncertainty."
Samir and Neal Idnani have owned NaanStop since 2012. Since then, they've expanded to three locations.
"Everybody always loved our moms' recipes, so we just took that, and that's the basis for building NaanStop," said Neal Idnani.
When the pandemic hit last March, their business was also hit hard. Their downtown location thrived on corporate and student lunches. Many of them are now working or learning remotely.
"Business-wise, we tried lots of different initiatives. We've always been doing delivery and takeout, and we tried to expand on that," said Neal.
To their surprise, President Biden was interested in hearing their story.
"The conversation itself was great. President Biden was very gracious with his time. We chatted for about 20 minutes," said Neal.
Well, the greatest need is for everyone to be vaccinated," said Neal, "Because if people aren't out shopping, the economy grinds to a halt."
On day one of his presidency, Biden announced his American Rescue Plan that would address the pandemic. Critics of the plan have pointed out it comes at a big cost.
The Idnani's also told Biden, it would be helpful if the government could help guide small business owners when it comes to applying for grants and loans.
"One of the things we spoke to President Biden about was navigators to help guide small businesses through all the paperwork and help them apply for the right grants," said Samir.
NaanStop has also been hosting pop-up food drive-thrus to help support other locals struggling during the pandemic. Anyone interested in getting food from their pick-up location, click here.
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