PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — Red Tide seems to be on the decline in the Bay area, and business owners tell ABC Action News they are cautiously optimistic about the future.
"That is the best news," said Missy Hahn.
Hahn is the president of the Treasure Island Madeira Beach Chamber of Commerce. She said the toxic tide is leaving the area at the right time. It's holiday shopping season and tourist season.
"This will help all of our businesses," Hahn said. "Most were reporting about a 20 percent decrease in business [over the summer]. For a small business, that's a lot."
Some had bigger hits than that and had to let some employees go.
Don't forget, a lot of these businesses took a huge hit during the 2017 hurricane season.
"I've been through two recessions, flooding, and tornados," said Beverly Diny.
Diny owns Diny's Diamonds on Treasure Island. It's been there for 35 years and it's still going strong. Diny said she feels good about the future now that it looks like red tide is gone.
"I'm excited," she said. "We're starting to see people come back."
Diny started to notice the change Sunday, while she was at the beach.
"I was shocked to see that many people out there."
John's Pass Village was a ghost town two months ago. Now it's thriving. The parking lot is full, people are spending money, and some businesses are hiring again.
"We're thankful," said Diny.
Some owners are depending on the sales they hope to get during November and December so their business can survive another year.