Created: May 31, 2022 11:28 PM
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) - It's been more than two years since businesses were forced to shut down because of the pandemic. Now they are getting used to their new normal.
News10NBC’s Raven Brown checked in with some local businesses who took a hit during the pandemic to see how they're rebounding and recovering.
On Park Avenue in Rochester, business is looking a lot different now than it did two years ago.
“The really difficult times were closed down or relegated to takeout only that happened twice. That was the lowest of the lows,” Jines Restaurant owner Peter Gines said.
Gines said while there are some setbacks with staffing, he's happy with how far they've come.
“You know, you see people coming back, coming back inside the restaurant, not just outside the restaurant and I’m very grateful, at least right now, we can say that our that our gross or our income has been good,” Gines said. “The difficulties are the expenses.”
Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Bob Duffy said some businesses were forced to close, there have been great strides in getting the economy back in Rochester. Duffy said right now the chamber has 6400 hundred open jobs.
“Go back to April 2020, our unemployment rate was 16.5%,” Duffy said. “It's down to 3.2%, which is huge. I think we lost 95,000 jobs during that period back in 2020 with the pandemic. We came back probably 90% of those jobs, although a big issue right now is not just the jobs, is getting people into those jobs.”
“The other thing is, you know, some of our clients didn't come back right away,” the Owner of Park Avenue salon & Day Spa Stacey Cudzilo said. “Just two years in, we're seeing clients that we haven't seen since 2019. So there's still was a large group that kind of held off on coming back in.”
Now, businesses bouncing back are trying to deal with inflation and rising costs to stay afloat.
“We’ve had to raise prices a few times,” Cudzilo said. “Just in particular, the products that we use to service our clients increases quite regularly. Sometimes we don't know what the price is until it comes in.”
Cudzilo said she's glad her industry isn't being singled out anymore when it comes to restrictions.
“The biggest struggle we had at the beginning was capacity restrictions,” Cudzilo said. “Masking was an issue. All of those things were an issue. Now, two years later, we're back to, for the most part, no masking spacing is no longer a challenge. We're back to full capacity.”
Both Cudzilo and Gines said while there are still challenges ahead, they're fortunate they can continue to provide for the community.
“We have our health and family,” Gines said. “Let's count the things that we have. Every generation has its hurdles. “Okay. And trust me, this hurdle is nowhere near to what our past generations have had to deal with.”
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