ST. LOUIS, MO. (KPLR) – The NHL lockout is hitting some downtown business hard. The St. Louis District Office director for the U.S. Small Business Administration believes the lockout has hit a critical point.
"This is a sports town and hockey is important to the people of St. Louis," said Dennis Melton.
He said hotels, parking lots, restaurants and merchandisers are all hurting from the lockout.
"It's getting to that point of critical for survival for some businesses," said Melton.
One customer sat at a the Market Street Syberg's on Tuesday night.
"'We have been so slow the numbers have decreased drastically, “said bartender Heather Wolff. "We're really struggling."
Chad O`Neil is an equipment assistant for the St. Louis Blues. He`s been sharpening skates for customers at Johnny Mac`s Sporting Goods.
"I've been a rink rat my whole life,' said O'Neil.”That's what I've always enjoyed doing."
He's been keeping a close on news reports and remains hopeful that part of the season can be saved.
"We're a pretty positive group," said O'Neil. "That's really all you can do is stay positive and hope that it ends soon."
The U.S. Small Business Administration has a number of resource partners available. Here’s a list of sources the federal agency provided us.
U.S. SBA St. Louis District office phone: 314-539-6600
SCORE Association - Metro St. Louis: 314-539-6600 Ext. 242
University of Missouri`s Small Business and Technology Development Centers,
City of St. Louis: 314-241-1511
St. Charles: 636-928-7714
St. Peters 636-970-3000
Veterans Resources Business Center: 314-531-VETS (314-531-8387)
Grace Hill Women`s Business Center: 314-584-6840