Local tourism-based businesses seeing increase in sales despite nationwide economic problems

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NEW BUFFALO, Mich. -- Small businesses in Michiana vacation towns are busier than ever in spite of economic and pandemic-related difficulties.

The owners of David's Delicatessen and Sweetwater's, located next door to each other in New Buffalo, have both seen a steady boom since 2020.

"The year of COVID was a record year," said Kathleen Kochs, owner of Sweetwater's.  "I think last year was a record year, and this year was a record year."

"We've had a really busy summer," said Emma Brewster, co-owner of David's Delicatessen.  "People could come up and be outside with their families, which, I think felt comfortable for a lot of families over the last couple years."

However, these two businesses are not immune to some of the issues plaguing small and large businesses nationwide.

"Cream cheese is the one kind of funny thing we have a hard time getting sometimes," said Brewster.  "We sell a bunch of bagels, and it's tough when you can't get cream cheese on the regular."

At Sweetwater's, management is having issues with hiring new employees.

"I've got a lot of people who are young who are ready to work," said Kochs.  "But older people, not so much."

Both David's Delicatessen and Sweetwater's are thankful for the support and understanding from their customers, as both businesses are relying on seasonal workers to fill out their employee roster during the busiest months of the year.

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