Resumption of film production gives boost to Rockland County economy
It's lights, camera, action again in the Hudson Valley as film production picks back up in the area - and it's helping struggling local businesses.
Nyack businesses are still hanging by a thread after COVID-19 restrictions and shutdowns wiped many off the map.
"We lost about 25 stores during the pandemic — restaurants and merchants," says Nyack Mayor Don Hammond.
But cases are going down and business is picking up - specifically in the film industry.
Shows such as "The Blacklist" and "FBI: Most Wanted" are filming in Nyack right now.
"We had an uptick in the last couple weeks, definitely," says Hammond. "All this filming is really helping our businesses just sort of catch their breath."
Nearby cafes say the uptick in foot traffic is just what they've been hoping for.
"The filming has definitely brought a lot more crowds out. You know, people want to see what's going on with the sets," says Kenan Kapetanovic, manager of Bari. "You can definitely see the light at the end of the tunnel."
For many of these local storefronts, it's not only a boost in business — they're also getting some extra funds from film crews.
"They give you an inconvenience fee, you know, it varies - every firm is different," says Jarrhett Oates, owner of Anointed Cuts. "The inconvenience fee this time was $500."
It's not just happening in Nyack. Despite New York's four-month halt on filming due to COVID shutdowns, Rockland County's film revenue actually tripled in the past year - generating nearly $400,000 on county property alone.
Rockland County currently has at least seven productions coming down the pipeline in March.
For every dollar spent on film production, the county says about $4.50 is invested to New York's economy - giving small businesses a much-needed breakthrough.