TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — The financial effect of COVID-19 temporarily closed The Square Mug Cafe, but neighbors are hoping to keep a pillar in Railroad Square chugging right along.
Donna Elliot opened her coffee shop almost a year ago in Tallahassee's Railroad Square.
"There was no revenue so I didn't have any money to reopen," said Elliot, the owner of The Square Mug.
The cafe was a place to enjoy local artists and a safe haven for the homeless in the area until its doors closed on August 8 after two employees tested positive for the virus.
"I didn't get the funds to buy milk or cream cheese or butter," Elliot said. "The internet got shut off."
With business at a halt, Elliot is hoping those who depend on her are okay.
"I haven't seen them I've been worried about them," said Elliot. "I actually packed a box trying to find Ann with some of her favorite things, because I know she hasn't been eating well and I'm worried about her."
Knowing all she does for those in need, the community stepped up to get her back to brewing.
Lorinne Myatt started a GofundMe campaign called Save the Square Mug with the goal to raise $3,500.
"Her nature is not to receive so I knew, in this moment, that in order to preserve a little bit of Tallahassee here, our home town, we had to give back to her," Myatt said.
The community came together to meet that need.
"It's been heartwarming to see that just in the first 24-hours we're almost halfway to the goal," said Myatt.
Elliot says much of the local relief is sent to businesses that are a bit bigger than hers. Although she did receive a grant from the city earlier in the pandemic it didn't hold up long.
Now, Elliot is overwhelmed that people stepped in to help.
"I feel loved," Elliot said. "I've bled for this community for 20 years and to get some of that back it just feels really good."
Elliot is also the founder of Granny Elliots Share Pantry that has been giving to the hungry since 2018.
At last check, the campaign is just $1,000 shy of their goal.
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