Coronavirus Updates

Some Charleston restaurants continue to go rent-free during pandemic

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CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — As the COVID pandemic stretches on, three Charleston restaurants are going into their fourth month on rental assistance.

The Charleston Urban Renewal Authority approved extending rental assistance for the month of June and July for Black Sheep Burritos and Brews, Subway and First Watch.

All three restaurants are located on Summers Street in the downtown Charleston area. Since April, the agency has waived upwards of $20,000 in rent from these restaurants.

The authority’s executive director, Ron Butlin says it’s more important the community keep the restaurants and that they will not be collecting on that rent in the future.

“Primarily we wanted to keep it simple,” Butlin said.

“There are so many challenges right now; you know the federal government doing some of its unemployment benefits and some of its small business loans, etcetera — they’re all so complicated. This was something that we could do quickly and straightforward,” he added.

Still, Butlin says they hope to end the assistance program by the end of July, but they will reevaluate the program if necessary.

A fourth restaurant, The Patio next to Mi Cocina in Elk City is also receiving rental assistance from the organization.

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