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COVID Recovery: Businesses Hoping End Of COVID-19 Restrictions Will Bring Crowds Back To Ferry Building

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- With the final countdown to an end to the COVID-19 restrictions underway, many workers at the iconic Ferry Building say this has been the busiest Saturday they've seen since the pandemic began.

Mayor London Breed announced last week that San Francisco will fully reopen along with the rest of the state on Tuesday

Local family-owned business Cheesequakes has remained open throughout the pandemic. But this weekend, sales appear to be on par with pre-pandemic numbers.

"Today's been pretty busy," said cashier Alex Balano. "I've done around 400, almost 500. The morning cashier did almost 600."

That's $600 in handmade cheesecakes using natural ingredients.

Traffic in the landmark food hall was noticeably busier than in months past.

"I want to see more people come back," Balano said. "I want to see businesses stay a little bit open to help them out, because we're all small businesses here. So that's something I want to go see."

Other businesses haven't been able to survive the pandemic. Some eateries were forced to close for good, including Cowgirl Creamery and the San Francisco Fish Company.

Businesses that are open are looking to add hours and staff.

"A lot of people don't want to work they would rather be on unemployment and do their own thing," said Lily Horton, Retail Lead with Recchiuti Confections. "And you know it's always been hard to get service labor in the city."

Recchiuti Confections is one of several shops hiring.

On Monday, the Ferry Building Marketplace is holding a job fair from 11 a.m - 2 p.m.

Business is already trending up.

"It kind of felt normal, like a normal Saturday, I was pretty surprised," said Horton. "When it was wintertime and it was dark it was like there was nobody walking around - now we have the Giants game down the street, we have summer."

New ferry schedules also start July 1st. The San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority announced that the San Francisco Ferry will have 30% more weekday service compared to pre-pandemic levels, to help support the reopening. It is also adding more weekend service next month.

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