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Study shows fewer Americans are resuming their daily activities, businesses fight to stay open

It was only a few months ago we started to adapt to a “new normal.” States began loosening social distancing restrictions and folks started eating out, going to the movies and going to church again.

Now, a new study suggests after a recent increase in cases, Americans are now reeling it back in — staying home more and going out less.

We spoke with Fort Myers Beach Mayor Ray Murphy on Friday and he said he’s definitely seen things slow down over the last four weeks, keeping in line with that study.

The study showed that right now, 5% fewer Americans would go to a religious service, restaurant or sporting event, compared to just June, 6% fewer would go to the movies, 7% fewer would go to a wedding or concert and 8% fewer would go to a friend’s house for dinner.

These are national numbers, so they’re higher and lower in different parts of our state.

Two local restaurant owners we spoke to say they’re feeling this impact big-time as cases rise, and they’re really working to keep some money coming in.

“Business is worse than it was in June,” said Chris Blauvelt, owner of the Standard Restaurant and Bar. “June was a good month, and definitely the spike had something to do with it. I have a lot of customers from Lee Memorial Hospital. We deliver food there all the time, speaking with nurses and doctors and speaking with them, the hospitals are quite full…since the last two weeks, business has gone down 50% some nights, 75% other nights, which means you gotta cut hours because the work just is not there.”

It’s also off-season, so these men say that plays a part too. This is hard, not just on these owners, but on all of their employees as well, so they’re trying to innovate, bring anyone and everyone in safely, so those employees can support their families.

“It’s a struggle,” Blauvelt said. “We’re always trying to promote new events, new promotions, to lure them back out.”

We do happy hour every day until 6, we expanded it, to try to bring people in as well, and there’s the bottomless mimosas and bloody marys, that’s five days a week as well,” said owner of Duval Street, Vollen Loucks. “We only did that on a Sunday in season, but now, we gotta do it every day because you need people to come in. You need some traffic.”

Reporter:Sydney Persing
Writer:Briana Harvath
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