City of Dunwoody approves grant to help local businesses

The city of Dunwoody is lending a hand to local businesses that have taken a hit during the coronavirus pandemic.

The city approved a grant to help shop owners expand or add to their outdoor seating.

Geoff Melkonian, the owner of Breadwinner Cafe, said he plans on taking advantage of the grant.

When the pandemic hit, Melkonian, along with other business owners had to adapt to stay open and afloat.

"Breadwinner cafe is set up, anyway, to be a lot more take out, carry out, we've always really had that in place, so we really were able to pivot quickly to doing a lot more of that,' Melkonian said. 

Even now, as cases continue to rise and winter approaches, he knows change is crucial.

"We've been very lucky in this past spring and summer with having mild weather and even in the fall, but we're here in the middle of November now and, honestly we've had a very mild fall, so far, but it's going to be turning cold in the next few weeks," he said.

Breadwinner Cafe has been fortunate enough to make use of its covered and uncovered patio seating, but as the temperature dips, the outdoor seating becomes a little less appealing to customers.

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Melkonian plans on taking advantage of the help from the city to add permanent overhead heaters, heat lamps, outdoor lighting, and speakers.

"If we don't, so many other places are doing it and are going to get that business," he said. 

Melkonian said he's thankful to be a part of a city that is willing to lend a hand to the local shops that are trying to navigate this difficult time.

"We couldn't be more appreciative of that support. Honestly, at this point, every little bit helps," Melkonian said.