In Atlantic City, small businesses are starting to bounce back. The famous White House Sub Shop has finally re-opened its doors to customers, after a two-month hiatus, following the devastation from Hurricane Sandy.
"The customer's are coming in and everybody's happy."
For 8 weeks and 5 days, Atlantic City sub lovers have been waiting for their favorite lunch spot to re-open.
Co-owner of White House Subs, Gen Basile, explained, "We sustained about 10 feet of water in our basement."
Frank Formica, owner of Formica's Bakery, supplies White House Subs with their rolls and said, "With the White House closed, it was a big void for everybody. So it really hurt business-wise."
White House owners say the 8 weeks they spent closed weren't easy for their employees, and that they're lucky to have opened as soon as they did. Basile told NBC40, "Everyone, for the first time in White House history, was collecting unemployment." Joe Gallagher, a White House employee, said, "It was scary thinking maybe structural damage. Maybe we could be out for a year, but we were blessed, we really were blessed, and it worked out for the best."
The sub shop has a loyal fan base and those customers say the re-opening gives hope to the rest of South Jersey that may still be struggling.
Kristen Radian, an Asbury Park resident and White House fan, said, "It's nice to see small businesses like this that are really, you know, historical places, to be up and running again. It kind of gives hope to everybody else."
Like White House Subs, other small businesses in South Jersey are rebuilding. Prudential Real Estate employees in Margate say that their business is operating, but that it's a daily challenge.
"It's been, it's been tight." Judi Cohen, a realtor at Prudential, explained, "Everything was lost. Any files that were downstairs were completely lost." Prudential employees in Margate have been working, but in different offices. All employees from Prudential who had offices on the first floor of their Ventnor Avenue property have been relocated to the offices on the 2nd floor and have been sharing equipment such as computers.
Across the street, the owner of "Jalapenos and Salads" says his other property next door, "California Yogurt," still remains under construction and that he hopes to open soon.
Small business owners in the area all agree - they need help.
Frank Formica said, "Everybody is depending upon the government, which is supposed to provide services and resources, that otherwise, the public cannot provide for themselves."
The small businesses that took a hard-hit from Sandy are slowly getting back to work and South Jersey residents are grateful.