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Study shows 17% of restaurants in the U.S. have closed for good; Some turn to online fundraising

Endive Publik House in Atlanta is one of the latest to have a GoFundMe page set up.

ATLANTA — Restaurants, like so many businesses, are struggling to stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic.

Many have tried creative measures, such as takeout, drinks to go and discounted gift cards, to keep their doors open and keep their employees on the books. 

But how long can these techniques last when people simply aren't going out to restaurants, particularly as COVID-19 cases increase? 

According to the National Restaurant Association, approximately 17 percent of restaurants — more than 110,000 establishments — have completely closed. The research showed that 10,000 have closed in the last three months alone. 

RELATED: These metro Atlanta restaurants have permanently closed since the coronavirus pandemic

Some patrons of neighborhood restaurants have createed GoFundMe pages to help the businesses. 

"We have seen an immense amount of global support on GoFundMe as communities band together across the globe to fundraise for the most vulnerable," Meghan Weltman, a spokesperson for the online fundraising website said. 

Earlier this month, Manuel's Tavern, the legendary Atlanta eatery on Highland Avenue, was in danger of closing by year's end.

A GoFundMe was created with a $75,000 goal to help the business to cover 2021 liquor licenses and insurances, plus a couple of months of food supplies and employee payrolls. 

They ended up raising more than $180,000. 

RELATED: For some Georgia restaurants, reopening brought bills, not customers - so they closed

Neighbors of Loring Heights, a small neighborhood tucked away in northwest Atlanta, are trying to raise $10,000 to keep Endive Publik House open.

Endive, featuring Chef Drew Ihrig's signature dishes from Endive Fine Catering Atlanta, announced on July 28 that they were shutting down. 

"Thank you all for your overwhelming support throughout these trying times," the post said. 

They have since reopened for takeout only.

Neighbors hope the community will pitch in to raise $10,000 on GoFundMe to help the restaurant pay for their liquor license in 2021 and keep them open for good. 

"Through these last nine months, we have continued to see an increase in GoFundMe campaigns for restaurants and their staff who have been laid off due to the closures and social distancing measures in place," Weltman said. 

The National Restaurant Association is asking Congress to provide immediate relief to restaurants so they can remain in business. 

“More than 500,000 restaurants of every business type—franchise, chain, and independent—are in an unprecedented economic decline, and for every day that passes without a solution from Congress, thousands more restaurants across the country will close their doors for good,”  Sean Kennedy, the Association’s executive vice president of Public Affairs said.