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COVID-19 leading local businesses to close permanently


The effects of COVID-19 have forced multiple businesses around Columbia to close for good.

Yin Yang Night Club and Bambino's Italian Café are two of the first to shut their doors following Gov. Mike Parson's 'Stay Home Missouri' order.

Veronika Versace, a Yin Yang Nightclub show director says the virus was the final nail in the coffin.

"I would say the virus was the number one reason that we closed," Versace said. "That just put us in a place where we couldn't come back."

Yin Yang Night Club, known as a venue that held shows like emo and drag, relied heavily on its night-to-night revenue. When COVID-19 led the governor to issue a statewide stay-at-home order, the venue deemed "non-essential" was forced to close its doors to visitors.

"We had discussed the possibility of temporarily shutting down for two weeks when we thought it was a two-week quarantine and so I had already been planning shows to come back afterwards," Versace said. "Hearing that we were closing permanently - that was the big shock to me."

The club laid off 10 fulltime employees and over 100 entertainers who performed on a week-to-week basis from around the state.

Officials from the club said paying for two months of rent, wifi, TV, Spotify, utilities, and liability and bar insurance without daily income put expenses over the edge.

Bambino's Italian Café, a restaurant in downtown Columbia, also closed its doors for good this month, according to a post on Facebook.

The post reads, "Hi Columbia, we are sad to announce that as of 4/16/2020 Bambino's Italian Cafe (Columbia, MO) will be permanently closed. Special thanks to our family and to all of our loyal customers for the support. Please consider spending your money with the other local businesses struggling through this unpredictable time.
We will be having a sale on location of all equipment, decor, etc in the coming weeks. Please stay tuned."

We reached out to the owner of the restaurant for comment but have not heard back.

In a comment on Facebook, the restaurant's page credits its close to financial troubles with no help from the government. The comment says "Our two busiest months of the entire year were crushed by the government. Those two months of paying overhead with no sales or help from the government that shut us down was simply too hard on us."

ABC 17 News contacted the city of Columbia's finance department and the Downtown Community Improvement District to get more information about the impact of the outbreak on local businesses, but have yet to hear back.

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Zach Boetto

Zach Boetto anchors the weekend morning and weekday 9 a.m. & noon newscasts for ABC 17. You can find up-to-the-minute information on Zach’s social media, @ABC17Zach on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


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