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Business is getting close to normal in Galveston, but employees are hard to come by

Galveston businesses are happy to see tourists return but some of them are dealing with a worker shortage.

GALVESTON, Texas — Labor Day Weekend is unofficially the end of summer but on Galveston Island, business owners said they're happy to see that the tourists are back.

It's a big help to businesses that had been so negatively impacted during the pandemic.

"It's been business as usual," Joe Flores said.

Flores owns several businesses on The Strand.

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The holiday weekend meant busy beaches and a bustling downtown. It's all music to the ears of many small business owners on Galveston.

Flores said he saw about a 30% to 40% increase in sales.

"We were very much surprised because summer has been busier than usual," Flores said.

Many believe people were tired of being indoors.

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"It's actually better than normal. I think it's because we're so caged up for so long with COVID, people now that they can get out, they're getting out everywhere," local cabinetmaker Roy Baker said.

The Galveston Regional Chamber of Commerce said most businesses are back to normal but some of them are facing a big problem.

"The biggest difficulty is finding employees," Flores said.

The Chamber of Commerce said it's hosting job fairs to help fill the empty positions. In the meantime, many hope that through the rest of the year, tourists continue to support the small businesses.

"Tourists are what pay our bills here we have to remember that," Baker said.