OCEAN CITY, N.J. - Among the many small businesses hammered during the COVID-19 pandemic, beach shops that thrive on a short window of opportunity to turn a profit are finally bouncing back.
As thousands flocked to the shore for summer's unofficial last hurrah this Labor Day Weekend, shop owners reported crowds and profits that rivaled pre-pandemic levels.
Wendy Barth of Separately Swimwear in Ocean City, New Jersey told FOX 29 that the bare spots on her shop walls are visible examples of a profitable summer. "It’s great to see everybody back out shopping and being here and feeling comfortable and yeah enjoying life again," one shopper told FOX 29's Ellen Kolodziej. MORE LOCAL HEADLINESAt the nearby Shirt Shack, workers believe summer 2022 was one of their "best summers ever." "It was a little slow in the beginning because of the weather, but then it picked up great, and we had a great June, great July, it was really awesome," Iuliia Lobunets said.
It's not only the financial benefit of larger crowds at the shore that had small business owners and workers excited this summer, but the return to normal everyone was waiting for."It was fantastic to see all the towns come back together, come back to life, so it’s great to see Ocean City such alive again," Courtney Wolf said.Jeffrey and Jacque Trucksess, who own a small business in Pennsylvania, know first hand what the shore town shops have been through and they're happy to see them weather the storm."I think the people are willing to go out and spend, we’re in a recession, we can’t really do anything about it, and we can either just be afraid or we can just enjoy," Jacque Trucksess said. .