A GoFundMe has been created by a loyal customer at Little Tex Bistro in Vernon, with the hopes of raising $25,000 to keep the business afloat amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The page was created Wednesday, July 8, 2020. (Morning Star file photo)

A GoFundMe has been created by a loyal customer at Little Tex Bistro in Vernon, with the hopes of raising $25,000 to keep the business afloat amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The page was created Wednesday, July 8, 2020. (Morning Star file photo)

COVID-19: Fundraiser launched to keep Okanagan restaurant afloat

A GoFundMe account has been set up for Little Tex Restaurant with a goal of $25,000

An online fundraiser has been set up for a Vernon restaurant that’s struggling to survive amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Michelle Stewart, who describes her self as a loyal customer to Little Tex Restaurant, started a GoFundMe page for the Vernon restaurant Wednesday night, July 8 with the hopes of helping its owners, Tracy and Shamis Burrell, keep the family business going.

“I was disheartened to hear of this family’s story regarding their struggle to keep their family business alive,” Stewart said in a description on the GoFundMe page. “The Burrells have exhausted every option for financial support, but due to COVID-19 circumstances they have repeatedly fallen through the cracks of this post Covid system.”

The Burrells purchased the tex-mex restaurant in 2018, revitalizing a business that had been established in 1995.

Success among locally owned businesses is often hard-won, and Little Tex has already weathered challenges well before the pandemic. In July 2018 a road closure severely affected the business, according to Stewart.

READ MORE: Canada not ready for second wave of COVID-19, Senate committee says

READ MORE: B.C. homeowners plead for action on condo insurance crisis

“They have been recovering ever since,” Stewart added. “In the two years of owning Little Tex they made a modest living, and thanks to their loyal customers they stayed afloat.”

According to Stewart, the business was gaining momentum shortly before the pandemic hit.

“Then Covid-19 created a new set of circumstances. Due to their ongoing struggle to recover losses since 2018, the financing they applied for to stay open was denied and previously planned financing options were put on hold.”

Stewart said the Burrells decided to close the doors of Little Tex temporarily on March 15 and hoped to reopen in July.

“The Burrells’ only income was the restaurant. After spending the past 3.5 months waiting for financing to reopen Little Tex, they have used up their last resources to keep afloat for themselves and their family.”

With the family’s mortgage coming up later this month, Stewart is concerned the business will have to forclose.

“Not only will the Burrells and their two teenage sons be losing their home, their daughters young family with a granddaughter living in the basement suite will be impacted. There is also a family with a baby on the way in their rental suite.

The GoFundMe page has a goal of raising $25,000 for Little Tex. Funds raised will help the restaurant cover reopening costs such as advertisement, re-licencing and staffing, or with purchasing appliances essential to the business.

The GoFundMe has raised $200 as of 9:30 a.m. Thursday.

There are other ways people can help that have been listed on the GoFundMe page. The list includes writing a message of support on the Little Tex Facebook page, or getting in touch with the family through Facebook about investment options.

The only thing this family needs is to stay together and continue to build their life and future together,” Stewart said. “Little Tex was their purpose. They miss their customers and ability to provide a worthy service the community.”

READ MORE: B.C. extends income assistance exemption for COVID-19

READ MORE: Kelowna’s Gotham Nightclub set to reopen Friday


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
Follow us: Facebook | Twitter

Coronavirusrestaurant

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A Dodge Ram pickup similar to this one was involved in a hit-and-run in Lake Country on Saturday, Jan. 16. (Crime Stoppers photo)
Stolen truck involved in Lake Country hit-and-run

Incident happened on Highway 97 just before 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 16

The Okanagan Regional Library is holding a pair of online contests for its young readers. (File photo)
Okanagan Regional Library challenges young readers

Pair of contests online aimed at kids aged up to 18

A water outage to fix a hydrant valve is scheduled for Lake Country on Tuesday, Jan. 26, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. (District of Lake Country image)
Lake Country water outage planned

Affects 20 properties on Seaton Road between Read Road and Chase Road from 9-2 Tuesday, Jan. 26

Kelowna Fire Department. (FILE)
Early morning downtown Kelowna dumpster fire deemed suspicious

RCMP and the Kelowna Fire Department will conduct investigations into the cause of the blaze

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

Auldin Maxwell stacks the 693rd block on the top of record-breaking Jenga tower on Nov. 29. (Submitted)
Salmon Arm boy rests world-record attempt on single Jenga brick

Auldin Maxwell, 12, is now officially a Guinness world record holder.

A woman injects herself with crack cocaine at a supervised consumption site Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Drug users at greater risk of dying as services scale back in second wave of COVID-19

It pins the blame largely on a lack of supports, a corrupted drug supply

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

The 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline was approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nations councils on its path

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

From the left: Midway RCMP Csts. Jonathan Stermscheg and Chris Hansen, Public Servant Leanne Mclaren and Cpl. Phil Peters. Pictured in the front are Mclaren’s dog, Lincoln and Peters’ dog, Angel. Photo courtesy of BC RCMP
B.C. Mounties commended for bringing firewood to elderly woman

Cpl. Phil Peters said he and detachment members acted after the woman’s husband went to hospital

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Most Read