The Mountain Lakes Chamber of Commerce recently announced a COVID-19 restaurant relief program. Its goal is to help struggling area restaurants and feed at-risk children across Jackson County.
The program buys gift cards at local restaurants with the community donations and passes those on to at-risk kids through the Food for Thought Back Pack Program.
Payne's Sandwich Shop and Soda Fountain is a cornerstone of the Scottsboro Community. Even though their doors were closed for several months, the owner says others need the help more and said they’d offer whatever they were set to receive through the program to others.
The store, which has been open since 1869, has benefited from a recent surge in customers over the holiday weekend. Owner Lisa Garrett called it a bit of a saving grace.
When asked about the chamber of commerce program, she said they're hanging in there and has other businesses, who are really struggling, in mind.
"I think that we will be in the clear, I think,” she said. “Of course we've spent a lot of money, but I think we'll be okay, while others probably won't be."
Garrett said it was nice to see customers come back in bunches and felt lucky that the store has outdoor seating, ensuring they could enjoy their food and ice cream safely.