‘We're just about shutdown’: Tackle shops closed, fishing boats remain docked in Belmar

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Small business throughout New Jersey, including Belmar, continue to struggle as they've been forced to shut down operations, and at the Belmar Marina, the fishing boats remain docked, with owners wondering when they'll be able to head out again.

Keeping dozens of people off a fishing boat is also necessary for the time being to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

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"We shut down through the whole month of April, through for right now, and we'll see what happens from there, but we did cancel the whole month of April already,” says Alan Shinn, a fishing boat owner.

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Shinn’s boats -- the Miss Belmar Princess and the Royal Miss Belmar -- employs about 25 people when fully operational as fishing and whale watching boats.

 "What I'm doing is trying to keep my employees going,” says Shinn. “We're trying to hopefully get some kind of grants or loans or some kind of line of credit so I can keep them working and keep myself here with them and hopefully something will change by the end of April."

Shinn says losing just one month equates to about $100,000 loss in business, and he’s not alone.

The nearby Fisherman's Den Bait & Tackle Shop is also struggling.

"We're just about shutdown, there's nobody coming around,” says Tom Palmisano. “There's a few people coming with their kids they want to get out of the house but business is just about at a standstill."

Once they are free to hit the open water again, customers will take several trips after being forced to stay indoors for so long and in turn, recoup some of the losses.

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