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Nearly 3 out of 4 hospitality workers in Hall were out of work in April, official says
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A man in a boat cruises up Sardis Creek on Lake Lanier Thursday, May 14, 2020. - photo by Scott Rogers

The unemployment rate was 73% for those working in Hall County’s hospitality industry in April, or at the height of the shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“That was a devastating impact to our workforce in the community,” Stacey Dickson, Lake Lanier Convention & Visitors Bureau president, said Wednesday, June 17, during a tourism webinar sponsored by the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce.

In comparison, the overall unemployment rate in Hall was 10.6% in April, an all-time high, according to the Georgia Department of Labor.

Hall’s jobless numbers in May will be released later this month.

“The good news is that, as businesses have been able to reopen, (the jobless) figure is more in the 25% range, so we are definitely rebounding,” Dickson said. “And hopefully, our businesses and our patrons will respect the guidelines that have been set forth … in order to be able to stay open.

“Just because we’re emotionally tired of the pandemic doesn’t mean it’s gone. The more our local businesses are able to adapt and adhere to the restrictions, the fewer closures we’ll have to go through later.”

The unemployment rate was 73% for those working in Hall County’s hospitality industry in April, or at the height of the shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“That was a devastating impact to our workforce in the community,” Stacey Dickson, Lake Lanier Convention & Visitors Bureau president, said Wednesday, June 17, during a tourism webinar sponsored by the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce.

In comparison, the overall unemployment rate in Hall was 10.6% in April, an all-time high, according to the Georgia Department of Labor.

Hall’s jobless numbers in May will be released later this month.

“The good news is that, as businesses have been able to reopen, (the jobless) figure is more in the 25% range, so we are definitely rebounding,” Dickson said. “And hopefully, our businesses and our patrons will respect the guidelines that have been set forth … in order to be able to stay open.

“Just because we’re emotionally tired of the pandemic doesn’t mean it’s gone. The more our local businesses are able to adapt and adhere to the restrictions, the fewer closures we’ll have to go through later.”

The CVB is working with businesses on such tasks as putting in social distancing signs.

“We’ve made 400 masks for front desk workers, housekeepers and others on the front lines in tourism, and all that is to be able to help our businesses stay open and be vital during this transition time,” Dickson said.

There are some bright spots in the tourism economy, including talk of a federal tax credit for Americans taking vacations, she said.

Otherwise, people are looking for trips closer to home

“Even in the midst of this depression situation, destinations like Lake Lanier are feeling a kind of (boost),” Dickson said. “Our inquiries for information about travel have never been higher. The pent-up demand … is so high for travel that now we’re having to figure out how to respond to that and help connect the dots for people.”


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