Local Businesses Suffer Under CDC Guidelines for COVID, Large Businesses Thrive

Christian Pensa, Reporter

With the constant evolution and uncertainty of day-to-day life in this country since the beginning of the pandemic in March of 2020, many businesses are still wondering if they have the legs needed to survive. It seems that everyone was negatively affected by the pandemic, including the establishments in and around Hampton Bays, however some large business chains may have prospered instead.

One such establishment that continues to see the influence of COVID procedures and protocols to this day is the Boardy Barn, located at 270 W Montauk Highway in Hampton Bays. According to a Southampton Press article by Alec Giufurta, the bar, which has been open since April 1970, was recently put up for sale by owners Anthony Galgano and Michael Shields. After being closed for summer of 2020, the Barn managed to stay open for a brief stint in 2021, but has since fallen to the same fate as many other local businesses amid the unfamiliarity of the current health crisis.

Conversely, many larger business chains may have benefited from the changing times. Regal Cinemas, the movie theater operator that owns United Artists in Hampton Bays, announced in May that the venue would be reopening. According to Michael Wright of the Southampton Press, the theater, which had been closed for months prior to the start of the pandemic, was intended to be repurposed into a CVS pharmacy. After being vacant for well over a year, the theater was reopened with new COVID guidelines being strictly enforced. In recent weeks, many of these guidelines have been eased up, and the theater continues to thrive, showing new releases and offering snacks to moviegoers in the area.

These opposing effects on differently-sized establishments prove that, while it may feel as though things are looking up in terms of the pandemic, the economic effects are ones that local and national businesses alike will continue to experience for many years to come, for better or for worse. Now more than ever, there is a great emphasis on supporting those in need, with local businesses being no exception.