NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) -After a decade in business, Erin Hebert says she will have to close her Magazine Street boutique, Armoire, because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“It is really sad, we would have made 10 years in August. So, it is sad to go, but, hopefully, one day we can come back,”said Hebert.
Hebert says she relied on tourists to shop at her store. Without them, she says she can only afford to keep her Metairie location open.
“We do have a lot of locals but we do rely on tourism, so, without tourism we just can’t afford to stay, unfortunately, so, I think that’s going to be the case for a lot of people, not just retail, but restaurants, this is a busy street, while we love our local business, we need tourism to survive,” Hebert said.
Across the street, the owner of Fun Rock'N is facing the same reality after 15 years in business on Magazine.
"We know we won't be able to stay with the high rents on Magazine Street. To get us through the summer months, it was always, we always relied on those months to get us through and they just weren't there and we realized what kind of shoe string we were on and it was a thin one," said Fun Rock'N owner, David Gordin.
Mark Romig with New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation says it could take a couple of years to get the city’s economy back to where it was.
"It's going to be a long,long haul to do this, our approach will be to talk to the drive market, people who are willing to get into their car and come into a city and know that the city will be handling the sanitizing, following the guidelines, the hotels, the restaurants, our attractions," said Romig.
Both Magazine Street business owners we spoke with say they have an online presence for customers. And, even through tears, Hebert urged New Orleanians to shop local, something she says is needed now more than ever.
“Hopefully everybody will stay and survive as much as possible,” Hebert said.