Small retail shops start welcoming customers back

Published: May. 12, 2020 at 4:17 PM CDT
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Tuesday is the first full day stand alone or strip mall-based retail stores are open. The Governor gave the green light to small businesses on Monday afternoon.

Parking lots are filling up again as small business retail is coming back to life. Signs on the doors of shops, like Tie the Knot Bridal Boutique, say they're once again open and welcoming shoppers. It's a day business owners have been waiting for, for nearly two months.

"I'm thrilled. I did come out of my office jumping, YAY!! we can open and I will definitely take it," says owner Brenda Kilheffer.

While shops are open, government mandated restrictions are changing how business is being conducted. Employees and shoppers are wearing masks, and a usually bustling bridal shop, tie the knot, now requires appointments, no walk-ins. It's also only allowing a bride to bring two people with her, so the shop, which shares space with DuBois formal wear, can abide by the five customer limit.

According to Kilheffer, "It took us a little bit of time to work some of the kinks out. We were kind of prepared, but we didn't know capacity-wise how many appointments we could take, so we had to tweak a few things yesterday."

While shopping in the age of the COVID-19 pandemic isn't how brides envisioned their say yes to the dress experience would be, for brides like Desirae Nachtwey, who got engaged on March 23rd and is planning an August first wedding, she's just glad to be able to get into a shop and try on a dress.

"I would have liked to have had my bridal party, the traditional shopping with the girls but I'm just so thankful that my mom and I get to share this, at least, it's really special to us," says Nachtwey.

And special for businesses, like Tie the Knot, to get back to what they love to do. Kilheffer adds, "I'm really really glad, not just for me, but all the small businesses around that they can open and serve their customers and we can all abide by the guidelines."

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