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Downtown Tucson restaurant closes to be part of 'the solution' after a surge in cases

Posted at 1:13 PM, Dec 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-13 19:14:05-05

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Downtown restaurant LaCo Tucson closed its doors by choice Monday.

Jo Schneider is locking her doors for the second time in one year. The owner of the downtown restaurant said she wants to be part of the solution rather than the problem.

“I think just seeing the rise of cases seeing the pleas from the healthcare workers. Just knowing that things have gotten bad,” she explained.

She said it wasn’t an easy choice. It took her two weeks to make the decision and she doesn’t think she should’ve been the one to make the final call.

“I feel as though we were asked to figure out how to handle our business in the middle of this global pandemic. When really the leadership should have come from the top," explained Schneider.

When she was open, Schneider said she was doing everything in her power to keep guests and her employees safe.

She had hand sanitizer stations, outdoor seating was more than six feet apart, and at every corner you were reminded to wear your mask.

“I don't think any of us foresee anything like this happening,” she explained.

As for her employees, she’s hoping the federal government will step in for her employees. However, in the meantime, she wants to be there for them.

“We established a loan fund for our employees that if they need help. We will be happy to lend them money and they can pay us back when work starts slowly and whenever just however they need to do that," she explained.

While she made the choice to be part of the solution—Schneider knows other businesses choosing to stay open are doing it responsibly.

LaCo Tucson also released a statement on its website, it reads:

After evaluating current circumstances with our staff and family members we feel the most prudent and responsible course of action at this time is to close until further notice. We deeply appreciate the incredibly loving and supportive community that has rallied to support small businesses and care for one another throughout the chaos of these many challenging months. We will continue to send love to our community from a distance, and we look forward to updating you all regarding a potential date for reopen in 2021.