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'We may not be able to make it': Charlotte concert venue unsure of future

Joe Kuhlmann, found of The Evening Muse, says his business may be forced to close permanently if they're not allowed to reopen soon. A petition is trying to help.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — In just a few days, several businesses can open their doors for the first time in months.

Places like gyms, bowling alleys and museums are preparing to safely welcome customers back inside. But other businesses, including movie theaters, night clubs, and concert venues have to stay closed.

"It's dire. We may not be able to make it," founder of The Evening Muse Joe Kuhlmann said.

A petition is now circling the internet, which is asking the local government for financial assistance (CARES Act money) to help support Charlotte independent music venues so they will be able to return and reopen safely.

The petition reads in part: 

"Music venues not only provide entertainment and a gathering place, they also improve their communities and help heal the pain so many are dealing with during these extraordinary times. If venues do not get assistance, many will have to close their doors permanently. That must not happen. Please sign our petition and show your support."

RELATED: NC to enter new portion of Safer At Home, allowing gyms to reopen with restrictions

As part of the switch to Phase 2.5, limits to gatherings indoors will increase to 25 people and 50 people outdoors, playgrounds can reopen, museums and aquariums can reopen at 50% capacity, and gyms and other indoor exercise facilities can reopen at 30% capacity. 

Cooper and health officials urged the public to continue social distancing, wearing masks and taking washing hands frequently. The age for mask-wearing according to the mandate includes kids, Governor Cooper said, down to age 5.  

Cooper and health officials urged the public to continue social distancing, wearing masks and taking washing hands frequently. The age for mask-wearing according to the mandate includes kids, Governor Cooper said, down to age 5.  

Here's what's changing in North Carolina during Phase 2.5

  • Mass gathering limits will increase to 25 people indoors and 50 people outdoors from the previous limit of 10 indoors and 25 outdoors. 
  • Playgrounds may open. 
  • Museums and aquariums may open at 50% capacity. 
  • Gyms and indoor exercise facilities, such as yoga studios, martial arts, and rock climbing, as well as skating rinks, bowling alleys, indoor basketball, volleyball etc., may open at 30% capacity. 
  • Bars, nightclubs, movie theaters, indoor entertainment facilities, amusement parks, dance halls will remain closed. 
  • Large venues remain subject to the mass gathering limits.