GLENDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- The restaurant, Mi Vegana Madre, has been serving authentic, vegan Mexican food in downtown Glendale for two years. But hard times aren't letting up for the small business amid COVID-19, forcing them to shut down for good.
"Ultimately, it is the uncertainty. We don't know what is going to happen and how long all of this is going to take," said co-owner Jose Gamiz.
It would take the father two hours on the bus to get to his job every day.
Gamiz opened up the restaurant with his wife in 2018. Before that, they were serving their dishes out of a food truck. Gamiz said they were one of the first to offer vegan Mexican food in the Valley. But the impact of the pandemic has proven to be too challenging for their business.
"I told my wife we are probably better off if I go and get a part-time job somewhere. I can make more money than sitting around," said Gamiz.
Gamiz said they received a PPP loan, and their landlord didn't make them pay their rent for two months. But it wasn't enough to keep them afloat.
"At this point, it was going to be too much -- with all the renewals coming -- starting back up on our rent," said Gamiz.
The Arizona Restaurant Association said out of 10,000 restaurants across the state, 900 have shut down permanently during this economic downturn.
"Everyone is stressed. The businesses are managing not only keeping people safe but keeping the doors open and making payroll," said Todd Sanders, CEO of Greater Phoenix Chamber.
Mi Vegana Madre is set to close on Friday. But Gamiz said this isn't the end entirely. They are hoping to pivot in a new direction and keep serving food through delivery or a meal prep service.
"Out of every bad situation, people adapt and good things come out of it. That is what I am hoping for," said Gamiz.