NEW HANOVER COUNTY — Two weeks into the governor’s stay-at-home order, Pleasure Island’s beach towns are strangely quiet.
By this time most years, tourists would normally be flocking to the area, providing many seasonal businesses the bulk of their annual revenue.
But the novel coronavirus has forced the closure of businesses ready to welcome visitors. Motels, hotels, restaurants, bars, gift shops, schools, churches, and more remain closed for the foreseeable future. Traffic in town is down in Wilmington by at least 35%.
In a Pleasure Island Chamber of Commerce survey distributed days before Governor Roy Cooper’s March 30 stay-at-home order, 87% of the 54 respondents reported a negative impact on their business. One-fifth of the respondents had laid off staff, with 13% anticipating layoffs. By now, these figures are likely much higher.
Signs of the coronavirus are seemingly everywhere, with many businesses and churches updating their external copy to send a message. Some signs offer a warning of new laws or new business offerings. Many offer a message of hope.
From Myrtle Grove to Monkey Junction to Pleasure Island, check out a collection of messages shared through signs:
(Left) “Be the best version of you resilient mom 71713,” Palm Air Realty, Kure Beach. (Right) “Delivery Available,” McDonald’s, Carolina Beach.
(Left) A public access sign draped in caution tape in Kure Beach. (Right) A masked woman rides past public accesses in Kure Beach.
(Left) “Gratitude turns what we have into enough,” Parsley Elementary School, Wilmington. (Right) Worship with us on Facebook or Youtube Sundays at 11,” Masonboro Baptist Church, Wilmington.
(Left) “Join services on-line; all are welcome,” Holy Cross Episcopal Church, New Hanover County. (Right) “We will survive,” Gossip Salon, New Hanover County.
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