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Jobs vanish, but businesses plot their comeback from the coronavirus shutdown

The pandemic has decimated Buffalo Niagara's leisure and hospitality businesses.

Last month, the sector lost almost 61% of its jobs from a year ago.

Other industries fared better, particularly those better suited to abide by social-distancing requirements. Manufacturing jobs declined nearly 16% and the finance and insurance fields reported only a 2.4% drop.

Overall, the Buffalo Niagara region's private-sector job count plunged 23%, according to April data from the state Labor Department.

Manufacturing jobs should improve with the region beginning to reopen, but the outlook for hotels and restaurants is and area where "we don't necessarily expect there to be a full recovery anytime soon," said Julie Anna Golebiewski, assistant professor of economics at Canisius College.

The Seneca Nation of Indians is preparing to reopen its casinos next month, using a phased restart process over multiple weeks.

As coronavirus safety restrictions are loosened, more retailers at the Walden Galleria and the region's other malls are setting up for curbside pickup.

At Vidler's 5 & 10, the East Aurora emporium, Don Vidler and his cousin and co-owner Cliff DeFlyer are preparing for when socially-distanced shopping can return to their store.

It'll be a while before Canadian shoppers come back. But Rep. Brian Higgins asked Canadian officials to loosen current restrictions so that people can cross the border to visit family, tend to personal business and take care of personal property.

Another day, another cancellation.

The Lewiston Council on the Arts announced it has canceled all of its events this summer, including the Blue Monday concerts and the Lewiston Art Festival.

Many trails remain open, but hiking can become uncomfortable when encountering hikers not wearing masks.

"I thought Western New Yorkers were smarter, more caring and more considerate of others," Buffalo News watchdog editor Mike McAndrew said of his hike in the lower Niagara River gorge.

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