For garment manufacturers in and around New York, happy days are here again.

"Booming" is how George Kabezian, a partner at Case NYC, describes it.

Kabezian has made all kinds of bags for 40 years now. His business in recent weeks takes him back to when he started.

"I would say '81, '82, '83, it was this busy," he said.

Many American companies are no longer able to obtain goods from factories in China, where the coronavirus is raging and shipping has been interrupted.

So they are turning to manufacturers like Kabezian here in the U.S.

He says he's gotten orders from at least a dozen companies in recent weeks for work that normally would have been done overseas.

"They come to us, they have two weeks, they want 10,000 pieces, five thousand pieces. 'Can you make it, can you print it, can you embroider it in time?' And yes," Kabezian said.

"I'm not saying the coronavirus is something good or something to cheer about, but it has its bright side," said Mariana Garcia, a seamstress at Mary-Nez.

Garcia has an entry level job in the Garment District in Midtown now only because of the coronavirus. Dress-maker Marina Nunez of Mary-Nez hired her a month ago, when unexpected orders started coming in.

"When Fashion Week finished, I didn't have nothing to make in my business. But thank god of the coronavirus, my business start growing little by little," Nunez said.

"For the first time in a long, long time we're seeing the racks of clothes hitting the sidewalks again," said Mercedes Gonzalez, a director for Global Purchasing Companies.

Gonzalez says she works with more than two hundred designers and retailers and they haven't seen a shipment arrive from Asia in six weeks.

"It doesn't look like spring is happening and we're even looking at fall now," Gonzalez said. "So it looks like two seasons are going to be missed…and that is really an incredible opportunity for domestic manufacturing."

Kabezian says he can handle more orders. He moved his Garment Center company across the river to New Jersey after manufacturing moved to Asia in the late-80s.

With business bustling again, he doesn't plan to return to the city, but if the work keeps piling up he'll have to hire more workers.



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