Thomasville City Council unanimously declares local state of emergency

By: Jacob Murphey | WCTV Eyewitness News
March 24, 2020

THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WCTV) -- The Thomasville City Council voted unanimously to declare a local state of emergency on Tuesday, but are not issuing shelter-in-place or curfew orders as of yet.

The emergency order will last for 30 days, but city council has the ability to shorten or lengthen that time as needed. City Manager Alan Carson told council members he would wait and see how things play out in the coming days before taking any other steps.

As city leaders weigh different options to combat COVID-19, local businesses are already feeling the effects. The city is promoting a curbside campaign to encourage takeout, but that has its limits.

Andrea Collins leads the Thomasville-Thomas County Chamber of Commerce. In a phone call Tuesday, she was blunt about the future.

"Unfortunately, I think we will see some businesses going down on a sinking ship without a life preserver," she said. "There's no magic pot of money that will be able to pull somebody out of that."

Case in point, the Sweet Cacao Chocolate Shop located downtown. Dena White opened the business less than two years ago.

"We were down 60 percent last week," she said. "This week is even worse."

She said she's had to temporarily lay off nearly all her staff.

"It's really painful to have to tell somebody I can't pay you and that's what it has come down to," she said. "I've used all I can do to pay them and it gets to a point where you can't do any more."

White said she tried to apply for a Small Business Administration loan but found the online form daunting. She hopes to get help completing the process and hopes to bring back her staff sooner than later.

But in the meantime, a not-so-rosy outlook in the City of Roses.