Small businesses in Ocean City hoping to make up for lost revenue this fall

Katie Katro Image
Friday, August 14, 2020
Small businesses in Ocean City hope to make up some lost revenue
Restrictions and fears over the coronavirus have led to a big drop in revenue for many businesses.

OCEAN CITY, New Jersey (WPVI) -- This summer, business at the shore has been unlike any other. Restrictions and fears over the coronavirus have led to a big drop in revenue for many businesses and now, as the summer winds down, they're running out of time.

"Year to date we got a lot to make up for still, and that's going to be an area of our business that you look at," said Jody Levchuk, the director of operations at Jilly's Stores.

Levchuk owns retail, arcade and food establishments. He said all are suffering financially, but the arcade has taken the biggest hit.

"There seems to be less consumer confidence in entering one of those types of establishments," said Levchuk.

Some vacationers Action News spoke with said they feel at risk going inside an arcade.

"No rides. I don't think we'll be doing any rides or arcades, just trying to be safe about it," said George Wallace, from Plainsboro, New Jersey.

Small business owners across Ocean City are also taking a financial hit this season.

"I think 25 to 30% off last year," said Wes Kazmarck, president of Ocean City Boardwalk Merchants Association.

Businesses are hoping to find their footing in the fall, if the weather cooperates, to make up for lost income.

Ryan Huck, a realtor and sales associate for Berkshire Hathaway in Ocean City said he is seeing vacationers willing to make the trip in the fall.

"We're seeing bookings through late fall, and into September already," said Huck, "I think right now, we're seeing a lot of last-minute bookings."

Levchuk is worried about employees come fall. He said he has lost about a third of his J-1 workforce, and instead had hired a lot more teenagers.

"The lack of adults and J-1's is a little bit challenging, and those folks help keep the jobs that are needed in late August, September, and all the way into the fall, when others are going back to college," said Levchuk.