YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Small businesses are starting to feel the effects of COVID-19 in the area.

Coronavirus worries have emptied out grocery shelves but also emptied the customers from many local restaurants.

The potential spread of the virus has people concerned over eating out at their favorite places.

“I’ve seen about a 40% decrease. Last night, I had probably a 20% increase in carry-out business. I’d say, out of 90% of my business, about 40% of it last night was take-out,” said Jack Walters, owner of The Elmton.

For many, take-out is a safer option because they avoid less person-to-person contact.

Walters wants to reassure the people who dine in his restaurant that not only are they always sanitary, but they are going above and beyond that already high standard.

The same goes for Cassese MVR in Youngstown.

They say that their normal protocols have significantly increased.

“We are trained in this business to put forth as clean of an environment as possible for anyone, so what we have done now is just increase all of that. Things that we might have been doing every five hours, we’re now doing every 30 minutes,” said Manager Joe Cassese.

For both restaurants, the worry is not lost on them.

They understand that many of their customers may be at risk or caring for someone who could be most affected by the virus.

“We’re just doing what we can. We want customers feeling comfortable coming through the door,” said Cassese.

As the area tries to adjust to the changing status of the virus, local restaurants are staying committed to their customers and their community.