PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- One of Center City's largest employers welcomed workers back into the office Tuesday.
About 8,000 Comcast employees will be working in the office three days a week.
Paul Levy, the president of the Center City District, says this day could not have come soon enough.
"This is the day that Comcast is coming back. There are other employers starting to come back this week and the next couple of weeks," said Levy.
He also says nearly every other economic metric in Center City, from tourism to retail sales, had already returned to near pre-pandemic levels.
The biggest exception has been the in-person workforce.
In fact, through this past August, the percentage of workers who returned to the office was only at 52%.
That has had a devastating effect on many businesses in Center City that rely on foot traffic.
Mayor Jim Kenney says, in the post-COVID pandemic world, the definition of "business as usual" has changed.
"I think the nature of work has changed forever. I mean there's going to be situations where people don't come back in certain industries and certain professions. But we're working on getting as many people back as we can," said Kenney.
David Rovner, owner of the Coventry Deli on Market Street, says he has only brought back a bit more than half of his pre-pandemic workforce, and he's not sure when or if his business will return to what it was before COVID.