Retail and food sales up, but not enough

Published: Aug. 15, 2020 at 12:08 AM EDT
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CLARKSBURG, W.Va (WDTV) - Experts say because our area is filled with local businesses, a stable economy is vital.

According to the US Census Bureau, the net growth of retail and food sales in June was 8.4%. In July it was 1.2%.

“It seems like we’ve suffered a huge blow to our economy. We had a recent bounce back, and now we’re settling in for more gradual improvement for the coming month,” says John Deskins, Ph.D., associate professor of economics at WVU.

The president of the Harrison County Chamber of Commerce, Katherine Wagner, applauds businesses for accommodating customers in the safest way possible while still seeing income.

“I don’t have actual numbers, but just in talking with people, everything’s down. It’s much slower of a course. It’s certainly difficult, but I have to give our small businesses a lot of credit. They stepped up. They’re doing take out and curbside pick up,” says Wagner.

Local food businesses have stayed a float thanks to just that.

“We will keep on doing curbside service, delivery, and online service. We still have a full operational menu to try to keep everyone safe, to try to keep my employees working,” says Rob Davis, owner of Brickside Bar and Grille.

Although it may take a few months, Dr. Deskins says the economy will be back to normal.

“When we first opened back up, literally when the lockdown orders disappeared, every body started shopping again. There was a quick bounce back. Now that we’re getting closer and closer to a normal economy, it takes longer and longer to get back,” he says.

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