PROGRESS 2021 – Year Plagued By COVID Makes Way For More Promising 2021 In Downtown Greene

By: Shawn Magrath

GREENE - It’s a scene America’s downtowns have come to know all too well - small businesses shuttered by the pandemic, a nonexistent nightlife, and a once bustling Main Street that’s seemingly gone by the wayside.

This is the story of COVID-19 for small business hubs, and the Village of Greene has been no exception. The last year has been one unavoidable challenge after another for Greene’s businesses district. And it’s been tough for many business owners to find a silver lining, notably those whose businesses may have struggled even before the pandemic started.

Nowhere has the pandemic been more devastating than the theatre industry which, after being shut down for nearly a year, is still waiting for its curtain call - even as other businesses have gradually re-opened. At the Chenango River Theatre just outside Greene village limits, organizers say they don’t expect a seated audience again until after Broadway re-opens this summer. Like most organizations, the Chenango River Theatre was forced to close back in March as the coronavirus pandemic took hold.

“We are closely monitoring national development with COVID, any potential vaccine, and audience surveys about when people will feel comfortable returning to intimate theatres like ours,” Chenango River Theatre Managing Director Bill Lelbach said in a statement put out by the organization earlier this year. “We’re still planning on producing our 2021 season, knowing that there are a lot of variables out of our control this far out.”

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