Local business booms on first post-quarantine Fourth of July

Published: Jul. 5, 2021 at 11:24 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - We spoke to local businesses about how their first Fourth of July weekend went post-quarantine. Businesses have been having a hard time hiring new people, dealing with higher demands and shorter staffs.

We spoke to a few business owners down in downtown Augusta today. Many of them say this fourth of July weekend was a very busy one.

“I’ve never seen a turnout like that before, I mean it’s been a long time since I’ve seen a big turnout, but because of everything post-COVID, people getting vaccinated, people are feeling safer again, they’re starting to show up, it was nice to see that again,” said Manny Hatzis, executive chef at That Greek Chef.

Manny Hatzis runs a pop-up food business called That Greek Chef. He cooked all weekend and he says there’s been a lot of business.

“It was really nice to see this post-COVID pop, people coming in enjoying themselves, watching fireworks, it was really nice,” he said.

“It was really busy, a lot of people came out for the fireworks,” said Kylie Parham, host at Whiskey Bar Kitchen.

Kylie Parham is a new host at Whiskey Bar Kitchen. She started working there just two weeks ago. She used to be a server at a different restaurant until the pandemic hit.

“I did take a break because of COVID because I wasn’t making enough serving,” she said.

But now with the pandemic ending and restaurants seeing more business she’s working again. And that’s what many restaurants are in need of, new workers.

“I know we’ve been really short-staffed so that’s been a problem, but we’ve stayed pretty consistent,” said Parham.

“I know that people in my industry right now are having a tough time finding people, but I think that’s gonna change eventually, as people start coming off the unemployment, people start looking for jobs, we’ll start seeing that being filled,” said Hatzis.

Hatzis feels confident as the demand keeps rising restaurants will be able to find more workers.

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