VIDEO-New effort emerges to save Austin businesses hit hard by pandemic before it's too late

New effort emerges to save Austin businesses hit hard by pandemic before it's too late

Mother's Cafe is on the brink of closure, but a new online effort is underway to identify struggling Austin businesses to help before it's too late (Photo: CBS Austin)

AUSTIN, Texas —

The COVID-19 crisis continues to impact locally-owned businesses, forcing numerous Austin staples to shut down.

However, a new effort has emerged online to identify and help save those businesses before it’s too late.

A new online effort is underway to identify struggling Austin businesses to help before it's too late

One of those businesses on the brink is Mother’s Cafe in Central Austin.

The vegan restaurant has been around for nearly four decades.

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Ben Livingston has been a loyal customer since 1982.

"Ever since I got here, it's just been a staple,” he said. “We love it.”

Owner John Silverberg says the pandemic has changed things, "We've seen a 75 percent drop."

Silverberg says they're struggling to make a profit.

Despite looser dine-in regulations, he says they've decided to stick with curbside to go.

"We just do not feel -- we're one of the restaurants that do not feel that it is safe, and I know there's others in Austin."

Silverberg's restaurant is among several other Austin restaurants highlighted in a Reddit thread that the community is rallying around to save.

"There's nothing like these places -- Magnolia's, we lost that one," said Livingston.

Silverberg says they've managed to make it 6 months into the crisis, but says there have been talks of closing down.

"I don't feel special or unique in this situation. I think there's a real chance that Mother's will close at some point -- and many other restaurants will close."

Something long-time customers like Livingston fear.

"They've looked out for the community in so many ways," he said.

https://cbsaustin.com/amp/news/coronavirus/new-effort-emerges-to-save-austin-businesses-hit-hard-by-pandemic-before-its-too-late