SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – With St. Patrick’s Day festivities canceled for a second year in Savannah due to COVID-19, concern remains for local businesses.
Some are expected to lose tens of thousands of dollars without the usual crowds.
For shops like The Georgia Tasting Room, the holiday is one of their most lucrative times of the year.
“It is going to hurt financially, but at the end of the day, the health and safety of the people working here, the people living here and the people visiting here is much more important,” said Rachel Livings.
The store manager said she isn’t shocked the festivities were canceled, and on the upside, the early notice gives them time to prepare.
“This year, it will definitely help knowing ahead of time,” she said. “We won’t have things sitting longer than needing to or potentially having to throw something out or send something back.”
Tourism and hospitality are at the heart and soul of the Hostess City.
Joe Marinelli, president of Visit Savannah, says he anticipates businesses will struggle — and some may close for good.
“I’ve also seen example after example of hotels and restaurants and attractions that have said: ‘Look, we have to adjust and we’re going to be fine,’” he added.
Marinelli and other leaders in the hospital industry anticipate visitors will still come here to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.
“It’s a great walking city, so we hope tourists will continue to come and still visit our city,” said Dale Parker, board member of Savannah Downtown Business Association board member.
“There’s so much to do and so many things Savannah has to offer even without the festival,” Parker added.
Mayor Van Johnson says the city is working on a plan to handle the potential crowds.
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