"'It’s kind of spooky quiet... it’s eerie,' [Eli] Hyman [of Hyman's Seafood] said. 'Because normally these streets would be bustling in the fall. It’s beautiful weather.' Like most places across the country, the COVID-19 pandemic has hit the city hard. Robert Smith is the owner of a local marketing company called The Chart Group. 'It almost was like overnight,' Smith said. 'First we heard about this virus overseas, and next thing you know we’re shutting our city down.' Considering the Chart Group offers video production and content creation for Charleston businesses, Smith depends on a thriving tourism industry. As everything shut down, his clients could no longer pay for his services. He too had to furlough employees. 'Tourism within the last 30 or 40 years has become a major component,' Trouche said. 'It’s multi-millions of dollars in revenue for the city and for businesses and so it is a big player economically in Charleston.' Some businesses have closed forever and those that have survived had to let go of staff."
By Elizabeth Ruiz, WTKR News 3 , Coastal VA and Northeast NC