NAPLES, Fla - With Labor Day in the books, businesses are now looking ahead to the busy season. But first, they have to make it through what is historically the worst month of the entire year.
From 5th Avenue to North Naples, no one seems to be immune to the September slowdown. While some businesses take the month as a time to close and go on vacation or renovate, others stay open and hope for the best.
From restaurants to salons, 'Closed for September' signs are popping up all over town. "There's an old saying in the restaurant business: 'Remember September.' It's the worst month of the year with back to school and everything else that goes on during September," says Mark Bookbinder, the owner of Villaggio Cafe.
September is historically so slow, many businesses close up shop. Tigers Den Salon in Bonita Springs is closed until the 18th, while the Vanderbilt Beach Resort and Turtle Club is closed for the entire month for renovations.
But, those that do stay open, make adjustments ahead of time. Bookbinder says, "it's the month you plan on doing the least and you have to cut your food costs, you have to cut your labor costs, you have to batten down the hatches and just try and survive the month and get to October."
Bookbinder says he will cut hours and limit some food items for the next four weeks while others are trying to get as much business as they can with big Labor Day sales. "That's been really good for us merchants," says Courtney Bailey, the manager at All About April. "A lot of people have been coming out for the sales."
Bailey says they've had a great summer and Labor Day weekend. She and other local businesses, like M Waterfront Grille, are hoping their decision to keep their doors open this September will payoff.
Historically mid October is when snow birds start to return and businesses start seeing a boost in their bottom line.
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