By: Andy Hershberger, WMUR
MANCHESTER, N.H. — With Labor Day and the end of the summer tourism season, business owners said they're doing the best they can and trying to hold everything together until next year.
Mike Somers, president of the New Hampshire Lodging and Restaurant Association, said he has never seen anything take an economic toll like the coronavirus pandemic has. The vital summer tourism season was cut in half while the number of visitors was limited.
"I really think the casual and fine dining sectors have been the hardest hit," Somers said. "I think because just the two to two-and-a-half months they were closed down, there's so much ground to make up in any given year. It's just too much."
Somers said restaurants with drive-thru service and places who do primarily deliveries should be doing OK. He also said larger hotels can absorb losses better than smaller ones.
"I think we will probably have lost at least 5-10% of our businesses in the hospitality industry, and it could be as high as 20-30%, depending on a whole bunch of factors and how it plays out over the next two to three months," Somers said.
Somers said some places will continue to make money through the fall foliage and ski seasons, but most everyone is already looking to the spring.
"How do we survive until next spring, because that's legitimately when we'll likely see things begin to turn around," Somers said. "We'll have a vaccine or some mitigating factor, and at that point, people will be more open to traveling again, dining out again."
Somers said if there's a federal aid package, that will also have a big impact on whether some businesses survive the winter.
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