Atlantic City thrives on the industries that are hardest hit by the coronavirus – entertainment, tourism, service, hospitality – making it particularly vulnerable. It’s also the latest hit against a beleaguered city that was bashed by Superstorm Sandy eight years ago and was more recently on the verge of bankruptcy.
But some residents weather the storm more easily than others. The employment of middle- and high-wage workers in this county increased by around 6 percent compared to January. However, for low-wage workers who earn less than $ 27,000 a year, the employment rate has fallen more than 16 percent since the start of the year, according to Harvards Opportunity Insights economic tracker.
“It’s all about survival,” said Rodriguez. “And hopefully not worse off on the other side.”
It’s a humble but potentially lofty goal: the risk of permanent economic scars is high, and the likelihood of some persistent effects will only increase as the pandemic continues and the need for restrictions on indoor eating and other activities remains acute. For example, a company that could rely on its savings and a few summer tourism dollars to get through this far might not be able to make it through the cold winter months in the same way.
“Atlantic City is going to lose the little charm and hospitality we left behind,” said John Exadaktilos, owner of the Ducktown Tavern. said a local reporter recently after Murphy ordered restaurants and casinos to close indoor dining at 10pm. each night. “What do we do?”
Still others remain more optimistic and describe the city’s storied and difficult history as a strength rather than a weakness. Marty Small, the Mayor of Atlantic City, acknowledged both the frustration among business owners at the restrictions and the real pain that residents felt. But when it comes to people writing the city off, he said, “This isn’t our first rodeo.”
“Our employees are resilient. We are the ultimate comeback story, ”said Small. “As I tell everyone, please be patient with Atlantic City. God isn’t done with us yet. “