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Delray Beach businesses struggling from COVID-19 pandemic

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Posted at 3:37 PM, Dec 15, 2020

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — Some businesses owners in Delray Beach say the lack of tourism has left them struggling.

A stretch of locally owned businesses sit right off of A1A on Atlantic Avenue. This area is usually a tourist hot spot in the winter, but COVID-19 has changed that.

"We knew going into the summer it would be slow," said Jamie Hess, who opened his new businesses in May. "I own Jamie's Convenience Store previously called End of the Ave."

The lack of businesses had Hess revamp his business model. Instead of just selling food, this place is a store.

"Six packs right now are actually what's keeping the door open," Hess said.

So far the change is working.

"Only two or three days ago we had the best days of sales," Hess said.

Next door at Ben and Jerry's, Richard and Linda Stern said they are having to rework funds to pay rent

"We are down 45% percent at least," Richard Stern said.

They said they started to cater and offer to-go. Richard Stern said this side of Atlantic Avenue won't see as many locals

"Here we are so tourist-driven it impacts us a lot more," Stern said.

Stern and Hess said they have worked with the city and Downtown Development Authority to help, but both agree they need more local support to help them stay open.