CAMP HILL, Pa. (WHTM) — Big changes are coming for local businesses, which has them feeling optimistic about recovering from the pandemic.
Cornerstone Coffeehouse owner Sue Pera says in just the last few weeks she’s seen business boom.
“I am absolutely optimistic a year ago I couldn’t have said that and now I totally am,” Pera said. “People are excited to get out, but not only that, they’re feeling so safe to come outside now.”
She’s looking forward to this weekend, when all of Pennsylvania’s covid restrictions are going away, except for the mask mandate.
“The restrictions being lifted right at the height of when summer starts, it’s just going to be great for every restaurant and every business like mine,” Pera said.
The state is also putting work search requirements back in place in July for anyone getting unemployment money.
The hope is that could help with staffing shortages.
“There’s not even a question that it’s going to benefit everyone who employs people, in particular again in the service industry,” Pera said.
Some say it’s not enough. Melissa Bova with the Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association says their organization wants state leaders to invest in the industry.
“Requiring the job search is one small piece of what needs to be a much bigger solution,” Bova said. “Let’s look at sign-on bonuses, let’s look at tax credits to help businesses bring back employees and incentivize them to come back. Let’s look at childcare.”
Pera agrees, saying restaurants need long-term help with things like more grants and loans available.
“For all of us it’s going to take at least another year or two to recover,” Pera said. “Whatever it is that the government is able to do in particular for the service industry, whatever they can do, we need their help.”
She says last week, for the first time in a while they were able to start hosting private dinner events again and they’re planning to bring back group cooking classes soon too.
You can find out more about Cornerstone Coffeehouse here.