Local event centers see surge in bookings following Gov. Newsom's announcement

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Some local businesses are feeling an immediate impact from the Governor's announcement to reopen the economy on June 15.

The Painted Table is an event and catering company in Fresno. Their banquet hall, along with many others throughout the Valley, sat empty for more than a year.

However, within the last day, there's been a sudden surge in business for local banquet halls.

Jeromie Hansen is co-owner of The Painted Table. After the Governor's announcement yesterday, the company booked seven weddings alone.

RELATED: Gov. Newsom announces plan to fully reopen California on June 15

"When we got the announcement, our phone started to ring off the hook," Hansen said.

But this wedding boom comes with a problem -- the industry is seeing a shortage in staffing.

"I have to find the staff - it's an industry-wide problem right now - getting the staff to come back for them to feel safe and compensated," he said.

Hansen said many "would-be" workers are reluctant to get off unemployment because they're afraid pandemic restrictions could return and force them out of work again.

So, Hansen has found a new way to incentivize his staff to come back -- raises.

The Grand Banquet Room at the Fresno Breakfast House also sat empty and vacant for the last year.

The owner, Symone Tellawi, said, "It's kind of hard to hire people when you don't even know if you're going to have hours to give them. So moving forward, we can securely say that we are hiring and we have every position available," Tellawi said.

Tellawi said she is excited to welcome guests back inside, but their first priority is safety.

"We are hoping that people are going to be safe still when they do come out for these events," she said.

So with the June 15 date now less than ten weeks away, they are hoping corporate parties, baby showers, bridal showers and wedding receptions will return.

Tellawi said, "This solid date is giving everybody a lot of hope and kind of giving us some relief in being able to know where it's going in the future now."

Banquet halls are encouraging people to book as soon as possible for their special occasions since they are getting so many requests.
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