MACON, Ga. -- Hurricane Florence forced more than one million people to evacuate their homes earlier this month - and many of them made their way to Middle Georgia, where business owners said they saw positive impacts from the extra business.

Business owners in downtown Macon said they saw an increase in sales, but added that the impacts were less than what they saw last year when evacuees came to the midstate to escape Hurricane Irma.

“Macon is kind of a unique place where we will have that happen repeatedly, every two or three years, just like that so we always stay prepared in our heart," said co-owner of Spud Dogs, Scott Long.

Long said he's seen Macon open its arms to evacuees before. He remembers when Hurricane Irma hit the southeast.

“There was an overwhelming abundance of people. We stayed open one night just to feed them," he said.

Valerie Bradley, vice president of marketing for Visit Macon said during Hurricane Irma in 2017 hotels were full.

“We had a very high occupancy rate during that time we saw and increase in hotel rooms," said Bradley.

Although the numbers from hotels occupancy during Florence are not available yet, the manager of Fatty’s Pizza in downtown Macon said they had a lot of business that week.

“Fatty’s, especially with the deliveries and everything, it was off the charts. To the Marriott, a couple of places down here, so we had a lot of deliveries," said Jessie Gilleland.

Restaurants like Parish also felt the impact of Florence.

“Even Parish definitely had a spike in business because we have live music every single night. It’s just one of those things it’s already a stressful situation” Gilleland said, who also co-manages this downtown Macon establishment.

Businesses in Macon said they were prepared for hurricane season this year.

“I actually over ordered because last year when hurricane season hit we had a spike in business too,” Gilleland said.

Business owners added that even though their sales increased, the extra sales were only temporary.

“It's only a one-time sale. We need repeating business," said Long.

Macon's business owners said they're happy to help those that are displaced.

“We wanted to make it a little easier which is why any person from North Carolina or South Carolina, we gave a 10 percent discount,” said Gilleland.

“Our job is still to build relationships. People come and they need a safe place we’re one of those. That’s as much as a ministry to someone as praying for them, just being able to love on them and meet their needs," said Long.