Frozen and frustrated, Small-business owners absorb financial hit before holidays

EMMA ROUTLEY/THE CHRONICLE The Cornbread Cafe in historic downtown Springfield on Main Street closed during the pandemic. A different restaurant is moving into the space, which is under renovation, the building's owner said.

Crumpled-up masks lay strewn on sidewalks as fall foliage collects in rain puddles on an empty parking lot. It’s a common scene these days, a new reality seen through a scope of ongoing despondency. We’re all beaten down from this virus. But we haven’t shaken this thing yet. 

Back in March, when only . . .