‘You either survive or you don’t’: State Street businesses prepare for winter months

MADISON, Wis. — Activity in Downtown Madison usually thrives in the summer months, giving business owners the opportunity to save for the slower months ahead, but the coronavirus pandemic took that advantage away, leaving State Street businesses to figure out how to survive the winter.

Tutto Pasta Owner Joseph Perkins said his restaurant is seeing an increase in traffic, but it’s not anywhere near what it used to be.

“There’s still losses,” Perkins said. “At this point, we’re 45 percent of normal.”

Just like other businesses along State Street, Tutto Pasta is blindly preparing for the months ahead.

“We’re planning it like we are going to be slow,” Perkins said. “You plan for the worst and hope for the best.”

Perkins said it’s the unknown that is hurting his business and neighbors.

“We always try to help each other. That’s how we’re going to get through this, is being together. Not just as business owners, but the community as a whole,” Perkins said.

Perkins said he remains confident his restaurant will see the other side of the pandemic.

“You either survive or you don’t,” Perkins said. “Tutto is not going anywhere. We’re going to be here.”