Gov. Brian Kemp sat down with Lawrenceville officials, as well as owners of local businesses, Monday on the Lawrenceville Square to talk about the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the city’s economy.

The meeting happened over lunch at D’Floridian, which is one of the newest restaurants to open on the square. City officials said Kemp listened to business owners as they talked about how they got through the pandemic through partnerships with the city, as well as innovation and perseverance.

“The partners at D’Floridian met Governor Kemp at another event and shared with him how grateful they were he hadn’t completely shut down the state, especially since their new restaurant in Lawrenceville had opened shortly before the pandemic,” Lawrenceville spokeswoman Melissa Hardegree said. “Gov. Kemp said he wanted to visit Lawrenceville, D’Floridian, and have the chance to talk with several merchants about their experience. And he kept his word.”

The business owners who participated in the meeting included Jaime Ochoa, Yonis Martinez and Richardo Mauricio from D’Floridian, Universal Joint’s Bruce Kennedy, Local Republic’s Ben Bailey, McCray’s Tavern’s Scott McCray, Golomb and Golomb’s Rozalie Golomb-Hollis and L. Campbell and Company’s Linda Campbell. Lawrenceville Mayor David Still and Assistant City Manager Barry Mock also attended the meeting.

Kemp praised D’Floridian’s owners in a video he posted on his Twitter account on Monday.

“These guys bought this restaurant, opened it a month before the pandemic and it says a lot about the grit and determination of Georgia business owners,” Kemp said in the video.

I'm a Crawford Long baby who grew up in Marietta and eventually wandered to the University of Southern Mississippi for college. Earned a BA in journalism (double minor in political science and history). Previously worked in Florida and Clayton County.

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