By Alecia Reid

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia’s hospitality industry is going through difficult times as COVID restrictions are limiting what people and businesses are able to do, but people can still find ways to support local shops and attractions safely. Many people are feeling COVID fatigue and add to that, another round of shutdowns in the city, which will affect the local economy.

“At the moment, it’s like ‘Night at the Museum,’” Scott Stephenson, CEO of Museum of the American Revolution, said.

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The Museum of the American Revolution opened for 10 weeks. Now its doors are closed again as they head into one of the busiest times of the year.

“Black Friday last year, we had over 3,000 people in the building. Of course, you wouldn’t do that this year,” Stephenson said.

Since this summer’s reopening, there was a maximum of 75 people in the 30,000-square-foot exhibition space at a time. After investing in PPE and deep-cleaning equipment, the CEO is now facing another challenge.

“Particularly the lowest paid people, they’re often the ones who are subject to furloughs and things like that. There’s such a dignity that comes from being able to work,” Stephenson said.

Jeff Guaracino, the president and CEO of Visit Philadelphia, told Eyewitness News that the global travel industry will see a 55% to 75% reduction in people traveling to see friends and families. Hotels will also be impacted.

“Philadelphia is resilient. Tourism will come back. We’re going to have a rough season,” Guaracino said.

Lyndsey Russel has been researching fun activities for her 5-year-old daughter Sidney.

“I got to look at the glass half-full,” Russell, of Wynnefield, said. “Doing things that can kind of give her a new look, a new outlook at Philadelphia is kind of good.”

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Visiting Franklin Square was a success.

“It has swings and slides,” Sidney said.

The young mother also plans on shopping local this holiday season.

“Supporting small businesses, especially Black businesses,” Russell said.

It can be a bit confusing to figure out what’s open and what’s not. To continue supporting the local economy, do some research. You may be able to support them in-person or online.


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