Pickens County restaurant forced to shut down permanently due to COVID-19, owner says

Mo August said he was banking on the Small Business Administration loan to keep food on the tables at Smokin' Mo's BBQ.

The Pickens County restaurant wasn't even open for one year before the pandemic hit.

"We decided after seven years in food trucks, it's time to move into a brick and mortar. It’s sad. I put everything, everything that I've had into this restaurant," August told FOX Five's Brian Hill.

August said he can’t keep the doors open without that loan.

He told us he was denied due to poor credit history.

"Now I have nowhere to go, I really don't," he said.

August explained that the restaurant's bills have been piling up since COVID-19 forced him closed in mid-March.

He said he now has thousands of dollars worth of debt.

"I was only gonna ask the SBA for 80 grand. That would have paid off all my loans, all my back debts, and put me in a really good spot to be able to reopen again," August explained.

Even though the governor has allowed restaurants to reopen, August said he would have lost money doing so right now.

“Jasper is a small town. It just doesn't have the population around it, where I could survive, doing takeouts," he told us.

We've previously told you of other restaurants forced to close as well including Blaxican in Peachtree Corners.

They were also denied the SBA loan.

August believes more small businesses will soon close.

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