(SAVANNAH, Mo) Savannah, Missouri is defying the odds during the pandemic.
“We’ve kind of had a business boom in Savannah,” said Executive Director of the Savannah Chamber of Commerce, Mary Ingersoll.
“It’s been an interesting time through COVID … a lot of our businesses were shut down and unable to operate. But many found ways to be operational. We actually had some of our highest sales tax revenue months during the pandemic shutdown last spring and early summer,” said Ingersoll.
Jeffery Weir is one of the business owners helping keep local shopping strong during the pandemic.
Weir owns four businesses in Savannah.
His latest business, a bait and tackle shop that was opened on the main square.
“I enjoy fishing in the summertime and every time I needed to go get something I had to run somewhere and get it so I figured I’d open this up and it’s been a great opportunity,” said Weir.
He's not alone. More and more business owners are finding that now is the right time to grow their business in Savannah.
“Two and a half years ago where we were doing an empty buildings tour, to being swung to the other end of the spectrum where there’s not a lot of inventory in Savannah right now,” said Ingersoll.
One reason why stores never left may be because their customers never left either during the pandemic.
“I’ve been in the automotive industry for a long time and I’ve always seen that everywhere where people don’t feel like their at home. And when you take care of their stuff and treat them like family they will come back to you,” said Weir.
While Savannah doesn't seem like a likely place to see a small business boom in the middle of a pandemic.
Ingersoll says it may have just given aspiring business owners the time to turn their dreams into reality.
“Perhaps had some downtime to think about plans or ideas they’ve had for a while and those things were able to come to life during the pandemic times," said Ingersoll.