Restaurants, hotels, and other in-person retail establishments took the hardest hit from the pandemic in 2020.

Fred Floss, Chairman of Economics and Finance at Buffalo State told NEWS 4 (WIVB-TV)...

“We are not seeing the sales from those places, and not only are the individuals being hurt but obviously the state is not raising revenues from these areas either.”

The Comptroller’s report shows what you would probably expect that “electronic shopping”, online sales, mail-order houses, Amazon all flourished...as well as (not surprisingly enough) did wine, liquor, and beer sales.

One local merchant, Dan Locche of Straight Up Wines & Liquors in Kenmore says business during the pandemic was up between 30-to-50 percent.

“People are staying home, they are eating at home, and they are socializing at home with their own family members. So they go out less, that means they are spending more for their home entertainment.”

Erie County’s sales taxes were off by about one-point-8-percent, twice what some other areas of the State saw... but Floss says it could have been worse...

“We went out during the Christmas holiday and New Year’s holiday and we spent money which is good for sales tax, but not so good for health care.”

Floss also commented that Buffalo did better than neighbors Rochester, Syracuse, and even Albany, in part, because folks here are more likely to spend money with local businesses.

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