GREENSBORO, N.C. — Governor Roy Cooper said he's hopeful our state can launch Phase 1 of his reopening plan in the near future.
While the stay-at-home order would still be in place in the first phase, the Governor said there would be more reasons why people could leave the house - allowing retail businesses, book stores, sporting goods stores and the like to reopen with social distancing measures and extra safety precautions in place.
Businesses situated in downtown Greensboro rely on the foot traffic, the hustle and bustle, the other shops and restaurants nearby - working together to create a city center. The coronavirus upended all that.
As a potential reopening phase draws near, not everyone's on the same page on how to proceed.
For the last 15 years, Just Be, a local gift shop on Elm Street has been a staple in Downtown Greensboro.
"Online is great but for our business," said owner Kathryn Hashemi. "Really the bread-and-butter is being at the store and being able to communicate with customers."
Her business, like so many others, has taken a hit because of the coronavirus. She said she's excited to hear news of a possible start to Governor Cooper's reopening plan in the near future.
"We are planning on re-opening. We are ready to be back at the store," she said. "We are going to take as many precautions as we can, whether that's only letting a certain amount of people in, making sure we are distancing our line. We are not going be irresponsible - and just throw this big party when we reopen and let 50 people into the store."
Less than a block up Elm Street, Brian Lampkin of Scuppernong Books said his business is taking a different approach.
"We closed before we had to. You know, we saw it was coming and decided the right thing to do was to close early," he said. "I'm not going to decide because the state feels pressured into opening. I'm not convinced it's the right thing to do until I hear it from medical professionals."
When he decides it's the right time to reopen, social distancing and safety measures will be a must.
"We would limit the amount of people in the store," Lampkin said. "We are debating whether everyone should be masked in the store. I think the staff will certainly be masked."
Both owners said they really appreciate the online sales and support from the community keeping them in business during this difficult time.
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