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Barbara Corcoran: Cousins Maine Lobster's Jersey Shore location is ‘good for everybody’

Shark Tank investor Barbara Corcoran sits down with Yahoo Finance's Allie Canal to discuss the importance of hiring locally for small businesses, showcasing the community of Asbury Park, New Jersey, as Cousins Maine Lobster adds a new location to the shore town.

Video Transcript

DAVE BRIGGS: Speaking of small businesses in this challenging economic environment, let's hear now straight from the horse's mouth, or crustacean in this case, Cousins Maine Lobster is opening a new store in the face of inflation and the labor shortage. Ali Canal talked to the founders about the challenges they are facing, which are many as we just learned, Ali.

ALEXANDRA CANAL: Totally. I think there's just so much to talk about when we think about small business right now. I had the chance to go to the new Asbury Park location, which honestly, I was very impressed by, especially considering how hard-hit a lot of these shore towns and more seasonal communities have been from the pandemic.

You were just talking about some pools not being able to open, because they don't have lifeguards. That's happening to restaurants, shops. The labor is so tight right now. The demand is really high, but a lot of these workers are realizing that they can get higher-paid jobs elsewhere. And that's creating this ripple effect at these shore towns.

So I spoke with Jim and Sabin and the co-founders of Cousins Maine Lobster, along with Barbara Corcoran, who invested in this business 10 years ago. Here's a little bit more about what they said when it comes to why they chose Asbury Park and how important it is for small businesses to be located there.

BARBARA CORCORAN: They're a walking symbol of what success looks like in tough times. When you go to a community like Asbury Park that had many stores close, a lot of people can lose faith and think this is going to be the future. No, when you have Cousins Maine Lobster putting a footprint right down here with all the dedicated people that are loving it to death and all the customers that are coming in and being joyful of them being here, the whole world stops and notices.

I mean, Asbury residents stop and notice and go, wow, something's happening. And that encourages other businesses to have something happening. It's good for everybody. It's like sharing the good news. Everyone does better because of it.

- The first aspect of having small businesses thrive in communities like this is essential. It's traditionally a seasonal location when you're at the beach. So making sure that locals come down and they support businesses year-round is super-important

As far as the labor, it's like hiring locally, giving people opportunities to grow within a company like Cousins Maine Lobster, or any other local community here is important. It's fun. It gets people involved in more immersed in the community. And it's a way to be a part of something that is a destination location, like Asbury Park.

ALEXANDRA CANAL: So they're hoping for a really strong summer season. Peak summer is usually around mid-June for a lot of these businesses, really relying on the developer community. I'm a big Jersey Shore girl, so I'm hoping that these businesses and the labor and all that good stuff can rebound this year.

SEANA SMITH: Me too, Allie.

DAVE BRIGGS: I hope you're right.