Qawa Coffee Co. in Middletown is closing indefinitely because of business concerns amid COVID-19.
"Despite being a successful business, we feel bullied into closing because of the unrealistic expectations of paying rent and maintenance fees for the months that we were forced to be closed by the government, who denied us any relief grants," they said in an Instagram post.
They made the announcement in a Instagram post on Dec. 3.
"Even with those relief grants, many local small businesses find themselves unprotected through any kind of legislation from the local government from predatory loans, landlords and vendor companies who continue to bill for services rendered inoperable due to the pandemic," the statement continued.
The couple who owns the coffee shop said they opened Qawa Coffee Co. because they wanted to bring different communities together to "share the experience of specialty coffee that our Yemeni ancestors cultivated."
The coffee shop has served the Middletown, Wesleyan University and Greater Connecticut community for the past two years.
"This irresponsibility by our local government will lead to many struggles for small businesses and the employees that they support, especially when they find themselves in unwanted scenarios like ours. Rent increases, back rent pay on months closed during the pandemic, and maintenance fees for unused amenities we feel should be illegal for small businesses," the statement reads.