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Some businesses are booming as Maritimers change their spending habits during pandemic
HALIFAX -- With travel and border restrictions in place during the COVID-19 pandemic, Maritimers are preparing to stay home this summer.
George Goodrick owns an RV store in Dartmouth, N.S. He says RV sales have surged during the pandemic.
“We are definitely seeing a bounce back this month. It has picked up substantially,” says Goodrick.
He predicts the high volume of RV sales will also result in a boost for domestic tourism.
“You'll see more people travelling around Nova Scotia with the border being closed, so you'll see more people with RVs,” says Goodrick.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Emily Tregunno, who owns Halifax Seed, had fears about the viability and future of her business.
“Originally we were very concerned about our employees and about layoffs and how long we could stand to be closed for,” says Tregunno.
However, Tregunno says her store is having the busiest spring in years.
“Gardening has become so popular. People are at home looking for things to do, things you can do while practising social distancing,” says Tregunno.
The pandemic has also impacted the sale of exercise and recreational equipment.
“Since March 15 and March break kind of hit, we went on a run and sold a year’s worth of kids bikes in two weeks,” says bike shop owner Andrew Feenstra.
“People still want to get outside, still want to be active. We're seeing, because gyms are closed and sports facilities are all closed, people want to do something."
Dan Shaw is the director of MBA programs at Dalhousie University in Halifax. He says the travel restrictions in place during the COVID-19 pandemic will have a huge impact on the spending habits of Maritimers.
“Even if people aren't affected financially themselves, it still impacts their behaviour, it's still impacts their spending behaviour. So, this is a dramatically bigger change that the people have to navigate,” says Dan Shaw.
Given the predicted length of the pandemic, Shaw says he does not expect these businesses and spending trends to change anytime soon.