Boston Globe, April 2021
Spring has sprung, and the Massachusetts economy is stirring out of COVID-19 hibernation. Economists have long predicted that vaccinations would jumpstart spending, and early signs are that people who are fully protected — nearly 1.5 million so far in Massachusetts — are eating out, going to salons and gyms, and returning to activities they otherwise avoided during the pandemic.
For the hardest hit sectors of the state’s economy — travel and tourism, restaurants and bars, any business that relies on face-to-face interaction with customers — the combination of jabs in the arm and nearly $3 trillion in federal relief money authorized since December is offering tangible hope that more than a year of layoffs and austerity is finally coming to an end.
Try, for example, to get a hair appointment anytime soon. Nicholas Penna, owner/stylist of Salon Capri with locations in Boston, Dedham, and Newton, said senior stylists are booked through the end of May. Penna said the surge is driven by older clientele who largely stayed away since the pandemic began in March 2020. “I have had days when every single person who sat in my chair is fully vaccinated,” said Penna.