The COVID-19 pandemic has unfortunately caused another locally-owned business to shut its doors forever. The entire country is dealing with new lockdowns and widespread surging covid-19 cases. In El Paso County, we're seeing massive spikes in active covid-19 cases and hospitalizations due to the virus. Many cities and counties are enforcing new lockdown measures or limiting indoor capacities at restaurants and small businesses. Tragically, these preventative health measures are causing many locally-owned small businesses to hurt financially. Some that are severely suffering are even being forced to close their doors forever. During a press conference last week, El Paso Mayor Dee Margo said El Paso has lost more than 25% of our small businesses from January to October. Another local business has announced that they sadly have made the difficult decision to shut their doors permanently.

After seven years serving the El Paso community, the owners of Independent Burger on the eastside have decided to close the casual dining spot. Independent Burger is owned by Pan y Agua, who also owns local spots Crave Kitchen and Bar, Cantina Malolam, Electric Cactus, and more. According to their social media, the owners made the difficult decision to close but fans should "lookout for what's next." Considering how deliciously successful the other dining ideas Pan y Agua has come up with, I'm excited to see what's in store for their restaurants in the future. I expect nothing but great success to come.

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