LINCOLN COUNTY, Tenn. (WAFF) - Starting Monday, Tennessee lifts many restrictions meant to contain the coronavirus. Businesses and leaders in Lincoln County are preparing for their “new normal.”
In a news conference Friday, Governor Bill Lee announced restaurants can open Monday, and retail stores can open Wednesday. However, they can only operate at half capacity, and must continue to follow social distancing guidelines.
“This weekend we will be doing a deep cleaning. We moved some tables out of the way to make room to open things up a little bit," explained Rick Carnevale, owner of Market Street Grille.
His restaurant has been able to do curbside and delivery service, but has still seen a 50 percent decline in revenue.
“We have to be very careful as well," stated Tina Osgoot, owner of Ivy Wreath.
With an older staff, Osgoot is concerned about their safety. She also isn’t as optimistic business will spike with the reopen.
“Somewhat of a normal, maybe. I still think this summer people will be nervous about going in large groups," said Osgoot.
With 400,000 people on unemployment, it is possible the state could lose $5 billion during this year, the governor said.
The Tennessee Economic Recovery Group, assembled by Lee, worked with business leaders in both private and public sectors as well as mayors and health officials with the Unified Command to develop this plan.
Governor Lee’s guidance doesn’t apply to Knoxville, Memphis, and Nashville.
Leaders in those cities can make their own plans.
Lincoln County and Fayetteville leaders will meet next week to discuss this topic.