NewsRegion S Palm Beach CountyBoca Raton

Actions

Coronavirus vaccine brings hope to Palm Beach County businesses

'This is really a much-needed boost of confidence,' economist says
Posted at 3:44 PM, Nov 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-24 18:14:42-05

BOCA RATON, Fla. — With a string of encouraging news regarding a vaccine for the coronavirus, struggling businesses hope this will be the cure they need to rebound from a terrible economic year.

Already one drug maker, Pfizer, wants emergency approval for its vaccine. Moderna and AstraZeneca are also developing vaccines in trials.

Stocks on Wall Street rose sharply again Tuesday amid the positive news on vaccines.

SPECIAL COVERAGE: Coronavirus| Rebound South Florida

In a restaurant in downtown Boca Raton, the owner of the Sanborn Café hopes a COVID-19 vaccine comes quickly.

"I feel once that happens, that people will start [to] obviously feeling safer, safer to wander out a little bit. Right now, it's just a scary situation," said owner Michelle Stettner.

Michelle Stettner, Sanborn Cafe owner
Michelle Stettner, the owner of the Sanborn Cafe in Boca Raton, said the past nine months have been the hardest in her life.

She hopes people will start to be vaccinated by the new year.

It's been a long nine months for her business. The now-empty office buildings around her café used to supply a steady stream of breakfast and lunch customers before the pandemic.

RELATED: 30K doses of COVID treatment shipped out after receiving emergency use authorization

"This has been the toughest nine months of my entire life," Stettner said.

"This is a tricky time because many businesses are just trying to hang on and survive," said Mark Hamrick, senior economist at Bankrate.com.

He said that once the vaccines are approved, it will clear a path to recovery and, ultimately, job growth.

"For the economy and consumers, this is really a much-needed boost of confidence, and so even if we don't have a needle in our arm just yet, per se, this indicates to us there is literally the light at the end of the tunnel," Hamrick said.

Stettner is holding out hope, but worries bouncing back may take longer.

"Even with a vaccine, this is not going away the next day after we start vaccinating people. There’s too much damage that's been done," said Stettner.

Once the vaccines are widely available, the business recovery is likely to take months, if not longer. But finally, many business owners have some hope as they try to hang on.