Before the COVID-19 pandemic upended everyone's world, Catalina Island was a premier destination for Southern California residents with more than one million tourists visiting the island every year. But, after stay-at-home orders were issued and businesses closed and events canceled, the number of visitors to the island plummeted to zero.
And now, thanks to an aggressive vaccine rollout and falling COVID-19 infections, the people are back and the golf carts are buzzing around the island once again.
KFI's Corbin Carson visited the jewel of Southern California and spoke with Avalon Mayor Anni Marshall, who said COVID-19 turned Avalon into a ghost town and her wedding business of 30-years suffered greatly during the pandemic shutdowns.
Marshall tells Corbin that thanks to the city allowing beach dining, that helped save several businesses from going under on the island. However some of the small businesses on the island didn't make it, even as they relied on PPP loans. As a small business owner herself, she says it was tough to watch those businesses shutdown, but now that things are getting back to normal, they're having trouble finding workers because so many people had to leave the island after the tourist money dried up last year.
Listen to Corbin's full report below:
Photo: Corbin Carson