Leaders in the Hamptons are encouraging seasonal business owners to stay open beyond Labor Day weekend this year, anticipating higher demand from New York City residents who are extending their stays beyond the traditional summer season.
During a press conference on Thursday, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said that homeowners and renters, largely from New York City, are not leaving the popular summer vacation haven – after coming months early, when the pandemic broke out in March.
“My message to those residents who want to extend that stay … we don’t want you to leave, we want you to stay and spend those dollars and contribute to our economy and to help families recover and to help businesses get through this unprecedented crisis,” Bellone said.
Because of coronavirus-related lockdown measures, businesses in the area got a late start to the summer season, which is usually when they earn the majority of their money. Now, Bellone said, they have a unique opportunity to take advantage of the current situation to make up for missed time.
“How do we take the most gain out of that?” Bellone encouraged local residents to ask themselves. “How do we seize that opportunity to support businesses?”
Local tourism executive Kristen Jarnagin said the home rental market is up 98%, while hotels are “thriving,” both metrics “outpacing the national average by far.”
On the flip side, with more residents staying in their summer homes out east that could mean less revenue for small business owners in New York City, who were dealt a particularly severe blow due to the strict lockdown to combat virus outbreak in early spring.
As previously reported by FOX Business, moving companies say they remain inundated with requests from people leaving New York City.
Roadway Moving President Ross Sapir told FOX Business that it is the busiest summer he has ever had.
“Insanely busy and for the last 3 months we couldn’t keep up with the demand,” Sapir said.
Big Apple-based moving company Oz Moving has seen an average increase in quote requests of 30% year over year.
According to the most recent data from United Van Lines, between May and July there was a 95% year-over-year increase in interest in moving out of Manhattan. That compares with a 19% increase in moving interest in the U.S., overall.
Restaurant owners in the Big Apple are having a particularly hard time staying afloat. After being forced to close for months this spring, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio recently said he currently has no plans to move forward with indoor dining.
One restaurant owner told Fox News that without indoor dining, many restaurants will not survive the year.