No doubt the economic impact of COVID-19 has been felt throughout Texas and the rest of the country, but how bad is it for rural cities? The IC² Institute at the University of Texas at Austin wants to find out.

KWTX is reporting that Gatesville has been selected as one of 50 rural cities in Texas that the University of Texas wants to study to measure the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Researchers are asking adults in Gatesville to participate in an online survey to "help identify key assets and challenges in small cities and rural communities across Texas and Louisiana."

Cheri Shepherd, the director of the Gatesville Convention and Visitor's Bureau, tells KWTX:

"[T]he city's agricultural sector has been largely unaffected by the COVID-19 outbreak saying, "Our farmers and ranchers are still busy doing what they've always done trying to get that food to the table."

The businesses that have really been hit hard are small businesses like restaurants, some of which have had to make changes just to stay open and survive. Debbie Buster, the owner of Junction on Route 36, which transformed into a grocery store when Gov. Abbott ordered the lock down, tells KWTX that they lost thousands of dollars,

“I mean we literally went down not even making a third of what we normally bring in a day. So it hit us hard as a businesses.”

The results of the research will be presented to the city once the study is complete.

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