By Andrea Alvarez

PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) – A Pasco County business owner says business is booming and that this is in part due to the coronavirus pandemic. Now, she’s offering up some advice to help keep fellow neighboring businesses from going overboard.

“We really have not slowed down much at all. It’s been a very good season,” said Captain Wendy Longman, Owner of Windsong Boat Rentals. You may remember Capt. Longman – whom CW44’s Andrea Alvarez spoke with in July about scalloping season. Alvarez caught up with the Captain on Friday to check-in on how the boating industry has been steering along.

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Captain Longman says because the coronavirus sunk family plans this year – the boating industry has been booming!! “Boat sales are up, boat rentals are up.”

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Statistically, she’s right. New data from the National Marine Manufacturers Association shows powerboat retail sales had record growth in June, slowed a bit in July and August, and picked up again by 22% in September. That same data shows 279,000 new boats have been sold year-to-date with May through September sales driving that growth.

Captain Longman expressed her surprise, saying “It’s crazy! There’s not a lot of inventory out there. If you’re a boat salesman or a yacht salesman, you’re doing great right now.” Although business shows no sign of sinking, she’s been fishing for new ideas to reassure steady business. “We just bought Tampa Bay‘s first tiki bar boat. We were in a boat parade last week and we won first place with it! John’s Pass had those round tiki boats. It’s a fiberglass pontoon boat, so it’s really, it’s amazing,” said Capt. Wendy Longman.

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She says her advice to other business owners trying to stay afloat is to follow suit. “I think it really depends on what industry you’re in. You know, I really hope the best for all of my fellow colleagues and business people that, they can somehow make it past this really difficult time.” Captain Longman’s last bit of advice to small business owners that are struggling, “If you’re stuck on ideas on how to grow your business, get with a group, get with professional organizations and definitely just ask for help.”