It could be a great year if your business survives the winter

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“The margins are thin as a razor,” he says. “It’s just about keeping the lights on.”

But for other business owners, the vaccine came too late. In September, Camilla Marcus closed West-bourne, her restaurant in New York’s SoHo neighborhood, after being unable to renegotiate her lease to cut rental costs.

Ms. Marcus has kept a trickle of money by selling packaged food on her business website and hosting virtual events. But she has no plans to open another restaurant.

“It’s going to get worse before it gets better,” she said. “It’s going to be a long haul.”

Others, like Roy Paulson, a factory owner in Temecula, California, feel more secure. Like many manufacturers, he had high demand during the pandemic for industrial face shields and eyewear his company makes for welders and electricians.

New models of the shields, which were originally due out last year, will be coming out soon, which Paulson hopes will further boost sales. Last week, the Institute for Supply Management reported that its manufacturing index jumped in December to its highest level since August 2018.

“Manufacturing is alive and well in Southern California and the United States,” said Paulson. “I expect a great year.”

While the situation is very different for restaurants, some are convinced that the industry will rebound.

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