Merrimack Valley Gas Explosions Impact Small Businesses - NECN


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Merrimack Valley Gas Explosions Impact Small Businesses



    Merrimack Valley Gas Explosions Impact Small Businesses

    Small business owners are struggling in the aftermath of the gas explosions in Merrimack Valley.

    (Published Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018)

    The chairs sit empty at David's Cuts barbershop in Lawrence, Massachusetts, following last week's gas explosions and fires, with owner Rudy David sitting down for a fresh trim to pass the time.

    "We were shut down basically for three days," David said.

    But even since they've reopened, their normal customers are understandably more focused on filing claims and finding a place to live than coming in for a haircut.

    "It's really tough, especially when you're trying to support your family and this is your only income that you have," he said.

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    Carlos Cakes owner Carlos Alba ended up giving away food to the community because he couldn't sell it after going without electricity for a few hours.

    Inspectors cleared the bakery to reopen Sunday afternoon, but Alba has already lost more than $25,000 in business, and building the inventory back up has been a slow process.

    "Today I'm working but I not working full, I don't have my products," Alba said.

    And over at Sakura Hibachi and Sushi Buffet, the fryers sit empty, the cooler shelves are bare and the dining room is closed for at least a couple more weeks, as the gas restoration process continues in the Merrimack Valley.

    "All products are all gone and the cooler had to be shut down for a couple of days," said Wei Zhang, who's fixing Sakura's cooler. "There's no electricity, now they can't even have a business here. There's no gas, no nothing."

    The Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce says this is unlike anything they've ever seen.

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    "You literally have shut down the economies of three communities," said Joe Bevilacqua, president and CEO.

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