SURF CITY, N.C. (WECT) - Normally early April means visitors on the beach in Surf City, who also visit the local restaurants and shops. However, because of the restrictions put in place due to the coronavirus pandemic, many of those business owners in this beach community have had to close their doors or change the way they operate.
“It’s effecting everyone’s business not just mine, but everyone across the board,” says George Howard, owner of On Shore Surf Shop. “We’re doing right now 85 percent from where we were last year. It’s terrible. It’s just a bad situation and a bad time nobody seen this coming.”
On Shore Surf Shop rents outdoor sports equipment which keep people active during this time. Now, the business is down to just renting bikes.
“Predominantly what people are renting right now are for two maybe three hours," Howard said. “They just want to get out of the house they are going stir crazy. You can only take so much.”
Restaurants are feeling the pressure as well.
“We are carry out only, we have closed our seating area off, we use wax paper to get in the door," said Jeremy Shugarts, owner of The Daily Grind. “We’re doing about 10 percent of what we normally do.”
Shugarts has had to lay off his employees, and now his business has become a family-run operation, with his daughters pitching in to help. He is taking advantage of the down time though. Shugarts is remodeling the business, and in the process of building a deck where he plans to have a wine bar.
"It's going to calm down enough that we're going to be able to get things back open and people are going to be antsy and come on vacation and are going to want to come to the beach," says Shugarts. "I think people are going to travel a lot less internationally and they are going to do a lot more at home stuff."
Mayor Doug Medlin even had to close the doors to the business he runs with his son, East Coast Sports.
“Just keep social distancing," said the mayor. "Stay at home that cuts the spread, and if we do that I feel like it will be able to salvage some of the summer. It’s not only for the businesses it’s for all the people that want to come here to the beach this summer.”