RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — As the coronavirus pandemic continues, businesses like Slingshot in Scott’s Addition are trying to stay afloat.
“Everybody’s in survival mode,” said Ingrid Lupica, co-owner of Slingshot Social Game Club. “Everybody.”
On Friday, Oct. 24, the Virginia Department of Health suspended Slingshot’s permit for breaking COVID-19 guidelines.
Lupica recalled the moment she heard the news.
“I sat down and I cried,” Lupica said. “I thought it couldn’t get any worse.”
According to the report, seven complaints were filed against the business claiming customers were not wearing face masks and practicing social distancing. The details also revealed employees were not taking the initiative to mitigate the distance. Some staff was seen not wearing face coverings, and tables were not being cleaned or disinfected.
Lupica said the staff did their best to enforce the rules. She adds the mistakes made were not intentional, telling 8News it can be difficult to control other people’s actions as they yearn for a sense of normalcy.
“We have a procedure in place where every 15 to 30 minutes, [we] go on the microphone and talk to people about social distancing and please wear your mask,” Lupica said.
When 8News spoke with co-owner Robert Lupica on the phone, he said there are often large crowds that gather outside the business as people wait to come in. He believes this led to the social distancing issue.
For I. Lupica, she said it hurts that the social game club is now under investigation again shortly after reopening.
“It’s our livelihood,” she said. “No one invests money to go under. It’s absurd, it’s painful.”
As Slingshot navigates a new path forward, Lupica has a message for other struggling businesses.
“What goes down, goes up and I believe with all my heart if we stay strong and work together, continuously, that there will be a light at the end of the tunnel,” Lupica said.
The owners told 8News they will do everything in their power to get back on their feet. In the meantime, they will work with the Virginia Department of Health on a corrective action plan.
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