Coronavirus concerns drive up mask sales at struggling hardware stores
Local businesses say they are hurting after a mild winter season but that one product is flying off the shelves - and it's not for a good reason.
Jose Barbosa is the store manager of a hardware store on East Tremont Avenue, and he says the coronavirus has left him with a list of orders waiting to be filled. "Just yesterday all day, masks, masks, masks. People are getting freaked out," said Barbosa.
Barbosa says the issue is that manufacturers are also back-ordered. "There's only a few, you know there's a small quantity, said Barbosa.
Just down the block, Barbosa says it's the same situation for a paint store and other local businesses. Customers say there is definitely a trend around the city.
"I'm actually a transit bus operator and I've noticed a lot of bus operators are wearing masks as they're driving," said a customer.
Barbosa says the sales can't completely supplement the loss they've had this season, but that they will keep restocking masks as long as they're needed.