JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Business and restaurant leaders say it's just too early to make any assessment on the loss of revenue or loss of taxes due to closures in the metro area. But it is well known there is a trickle down effect and some are calling it a mini-recession.
No water. No customers. No business, no money. That's the story over and over again at most Jackson businesses and restaurants from Capitol Street to the suburbs. Two long established Jackson restaurant owners had this response.
"The economic impact to us has been extreme." "Sum it up, it was almost like a catastrophe of sorts," said Hal and Mal's owner Hal White.
Many restaurants were forced to close, others including large chains managed to keep the doors open with severely restricted menus. Business at Sal and Mooky's is still sparse. Co-owner Jeff Good likens the water crisis in the capitol city to a mini-recession.
"One of my grocery sales people told me the other day that he had all of his customers in Jackson and his commission check for the week was going to be less than one hundred fifty dollars," Good said.
Very much the same story at a popular downtown Jackson restaurant. Hal and Mal's. This restaurant never lost water pressure. The popular eatery is usually packed for lunch on Friday but was nearly vacant.
"Oh yeah, it hurts my business, hurts us terribly, hurts everybody. You know when you close down the federal government, state government, half of downtown all the buildings are shut down in the city, it affect me tremendously," said owner White.
With a dramatic reduction in customers, comes a dramatic reduction in revenue.
And with tables open, many waiters depending on tips are struggling. The impact will be lasting for some as paychecks take a hit.
No one can put their finger on the amount of lost tax revenue or income. But there is light at the end of the tunnel. Hope that clean water will be flowing next week and customers flowing back in the doors.
The Mississippi Hospitality and Restaurant Association says many establishments have business interruption insurance that will help cover their losses during the water crisis.