By Beth Germano

BOSTON (CBS) – From pushcarts to the food court to thorough cleanings, it’s finally back to business at Faneuil Hall Marketplace.

“I had three sales already today, and I wasn’t sure I would make any at all,” said business owner Mary Jenal.

This large group of small business owners has been feeling the pinch with the marketplace closed for more than three months.

As Faneuil Hall reopens, small business owners are hopeful tourists will return. (WBZ-TV)

“It’s a lot of weight off people’s shoulders,” said Linda DeMarco, president of the Faneuil Hall Merchants Association. But now, business owners face the burden of trying to make up for lost time and hoping the tourists will follow.

At Sprinkles ice cream shop, owner Sara Youngelson also hopes locals will take a second look at the popular destination. “We try to rely on who’s going to come here, who’s going to take that day trip that’s helpful for us,” said Youngelson.

Some businesses are delaying their opening and some have closed altogether. The landlord has allowed rent deferments for April, May and June. Payments will be required by the end of next year.

It was a slow opening day for the first day of July, but many visitors said what merchants wanted to hear, that they’re glad to be out.

“Things are feeling normal and balanced again,” said Christine Finger visiting from Rochester, New York.

Amy Scott, visiting from Rhode Island made her first trip to the marketplace. “We’ve been keeping ourselves safe, staying at home, but today was our day to get out and get some fresh air.”

The hope is that being out will be part of the draw this summer. “It’s important to get everyone here the last two or three months we have left with good weather. It is an open market space,” said DeMarco.

Beth Germano

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