Because people matter more than cars.
Times are extremely tough right now. Businesses have been forced to close and place employees on unpaid leave. And the ongoing threat of contracting the virus itself lives with us all. But one restaurant owner in Smyrna, Georgia made a fateful decision: rather than let her employees go without a paycheck, she decided to sell her treasured 2016 Ford Mustang GT. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Charity Salyers used the $11,000 she made from selling the V8-powered muscle car to pay her eight employees and cover rent.
That amount will be sufficient to "carry me forward for two months. And I figured two months would give us enough time for these [Covid-19 case] numbers to go down… and be able to reopen." Selling the Mustang was apparently the last resort for Salyers. She previously tried doing take-out orders in late March but that failed to take off.
Restaurant proceeds dropped from an average of $3,500 to just $300. That wasn't going to cut it and Salyers decided to close the restaurant instead. A couple of weeks ago, however, her most loyal customers were literally begging her to reopen because they weren't interested in eating fast food. Salyers obliged but kept the restaurant as take-out only. Again, cash flow remained a problem. In order to satisfy her regular customers and maintain payroll and rent, Salyers' last option was to sell her car.
"At that time, I just had to make a rash decision, and that was the only thing I could do to make enough money to carry myself forward for a few months and stay open," she said.
Her decision also comes with another personal price: she no longer owns a car. The Mustang was her sole daily driver. Two of Salyers' employees are now giving her rides to and from work.
A week ago, Georgia governor Brian Kemp announced restaurants were allowed to reopen for regular dine-in service, but Salyers remains undecided whether it's an appropriate time to do this. Salyers' generosity goes beyond selling her Mustang. She also provides meals free of charge or at reduced prices for seniors on a fixed income and even began a program to help provide families with food when schools closed last month. And that's not all. She also started a GoFundMe campaign to collect money to provide meals for local healthcare workers.
For now, she has found a way to keep things up and running, though at a personal sacrifice. "She goes without so other people don't have to," said one of her employees.