Leesburg's restaurant owners have quickly seen a major drop-off in sales during the coronavirus crisis, but local residents are determined to find ways to help.
A new website, Leesburgtogo.com, launched March 18 to provide customers with information on restaurants that are open and serving meals curbside to-go.
“I live in this community and own a business, and this will be an extended time of difficulty for a lot of businesses. The restaurants are a critical part of our economy and we need to get creative to assist them. This is the new normal,” said Paige Buscema, owner of Leesburg's Eyetopia.
Buscema created the concept along with graphic artist Stilson Greene and Valerie Beaudoin, executive director of the George C. Marshall International Center.
They pulled together the initial information and data, and the list will continue to grow as more businesses reach out to them, she said.
“This is a space where the community can go to understand Leesburg restaurants – what is open and who is serving curbside. Hopefully people can discover a few restaurants you didn't know were there,” she added.
Buscema said this is “the first step,” and she hopes to provide support for the retail businesses as well.
“We need to get creative and provide support -- even virtually. Find out who's open and what they have to offer. This is a long-term situation, and we need to think about how we can move forward,” she said.