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Businesses Stage Memorial Day Weekend Comeback After Lockdown

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- This Memorial Day Weekend will not only be the unofficial start of summer, but it could be the moment businesses start to build back after struggling through COVID-19 for 15 months.

Economists say business is booming back in several industries. After being on lockdown, in self-isolation and being required to practice social distancing for more than a year,  people are going back out into society and they're ready to spend money they've been holding on to since 2020.

"We're open Saturday, Sunday, and Monday at all three locations. We do expect it to be busy," says Mary Jo Gilmore with Sassanova.

The parking lot at the Green Spring Station in Lutherville was packed. Inside Sassanova, the retailer has a good problem.

"With everything happening in the world today, it could be very difficult to get merchandise. So when people see something that they like, they're buying it because there's just a limited inventory, so they're snatching up the things," says Gilmore.

A report out from the Commerce Department on Friday said consumer spending went up in April. Experts say vaccinated Americans are building up the courage to venture out and they are spending on things like eating out, spa dates and travel. You can also expect it to be busy at hotels and airports.

"I think people will take advantage of the ability to go out congregate, gather, enjoy all the things that we've postponed," says said Dr. Daraius Irani, an economist at Towson University. "I saw a picture from D.C. yesterday. People were out dining, it was very reminiscent of pre-pandemic levels. All that pent-up demand for fun, it's going to be releasing itself throughout the summer because people put off vacations, people put off family reunions, all the things we do in life we put off for a year."

Restaurants, one of the hardest-hit industries are now seeing a comeback. Owners are continuing to move with the times. At Papi's Tacos in Hampden, that means expanding dining space beyond the walls. They've added more than a dozen tables for outdoor dining.

"The way I feel on the street is that everybody's just ready to put this in the rearview mirror and MoveOn and I think we're all for that we're ready to do it safely were still wearing masks inside," says owner Charlie Gjerde.

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