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Are Burlington businesses seeing a rebound?

(WCAX)
Published: Jul. 3, 2020 at 12:37 AM EDT
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A few Burlington businesses say they're beginning to rebound from losses due to COVID-19, but there is still a way to go. The Lake Champlain Chamber of Commerce's Catherine Davis says Burlington businesses are not out of the woods with losses sustained from the pandemic.

"I wouldn't go so far as to say that anybody has recovered," Davis said. "I would go so far as to say that maybe people have a fighting shot at this point."

Businesses like Stella Mae and Ecco say that they have their good days and their bad days for sales.

"You know honestly it's been very odd because it's been off and on," said Maia Bertrand from the Ecco clothing store. "We're all still trying to figure out what the pattern with that is."

"We have days that are really exciting, that's like, 'Oh, that's really close to last year,' but I think you can't really compare anything this year to last year," said Emily Goodrich from Stella Mae.

Davis says some businesses have decided to keep people away from the physical store.

"I'm aware of a handful of retailers that haven't opened to in-person sales," Davis said. "They might have online or curbside."

Retailers who are open to in-person visits say that online sales have kept them afloat for the past few months.

"We totally understand that some people are nervous so we still have our online shop on our website," said Bertrand. "I mean that's what a lot of the stores are doing."

As the state reopens more and more, businesses say they hope they can return to some kind of normal operation. For now, businesses are simply doing the best they can with what they have to work with.

"Fifty percent definitely still is not normal," she said. "Consumer behavior is definitely not yet normal, but at least they have that opportunity to try to make a go of it."

Davis says the best thing Vermonters can do to help their local businesses is to shop locally when they can.

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