Lynchburg bouncing back from COVID as business sales and tourism reach new heights

Published: Oct. 6, 2022 at 7:16 PM EDT
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LYNCHBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - The Lynchburg Office of Economic Development and Tourism has released its 2022 annual report, showing $1.5 million in business sales across the city.

One business says it changed its business model, helping it survive the pandemic.

“We changed a lot, to have a better process to the delivery system. People now come and dine in a lot. When the pandemic started, wherever they eat, until the food comes out they had to keep the mask on. The sales went back up whenever we pandemic goes down,” says David Kang, general manager of Mizumi Japanese Bistro and Moon Tea in Lynchburg.

The restaurant generates more than $90,000 in monthly sales, thanks in part to tourism increasing

The report showed tourism increased by 120%, which is up from pre-pandemic sales from 2019.

Dona Vellek, a visitor in Lynchburg, says she noticed a lot of people out and about, but more importantly, everyone has been inviting and friendly.

She states, “There is a lot of people walking, a lot of dog walking, a lot of in and out of the restaurants. I’ve been trying to scout out places to eat for my few days while I’m here and every place I go in is very friendly.”

Despite tourism numbers increasing, Kang says it’s all about how you treat your customers and your team.

“I think it’s all about the people, how I welcome them, or how I manage my employees. How I train them. I think that is the most important part of handling the business,” he says.