‘No clear winner or loser’: Some businesses get the green light to reopen

Updated: Apr. 28, 2020 at 10:25 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - When the governor announced her new “safer-at-home” order that goes into effect Thursday, some businesses were relieved to see restrictions loosened while others felt left out.

The current stay-at-home order expires at 5 p.m. Thursday evening, and the new safer-at-home order goes into effect. This allows retail businesses to open among other things. Restaurant dining rooms, gyms, nail salons and barbershops will remain closed.

“We’re still receiving furniture so we still have to pay for furniture, but we’re not selling any furniture," explained Parker Hudson, sales manager for University Furniture. The Huntsville furniture store has been closed since the end of March.

“Things will definitely be different. There will be a minimum of four people inside. We’re not just going to open the doors wide open. We’ll definitely keep our minimum distance of six feet," stated Hudson.

While he prepares to operate under a “new normal,” for others it’s business as it has been the last month: none at all.

“I was really hoping that with certain restrictions we might be able to open back up. That’s not going to happen yet," said Jessica Miller, owner of The Broken Brush studio in Athens.

Since her business is deemed “entertainment,” it will remain closed.

Barbershop owner Francisco Lazo also expressed disappointment. “It was a gut blow for us.”

Lazo’s shop, the Fade Factory, saw an 80% decline in business in the weeks prior to the stay-at-home. Currently, none of his staff has received unemployment benefits. His business also has yet to get any government assistance through the CARES Act.

“We all have mouths to feed that we need to take care of," stated Lazo.

U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks expressed his opinion of the Governor’s order on Twitter Tuesday. By not allowing businesses to “decide how best to protect customers," he said the government was picking winners and losers.

As it seems, there may not be any clear winner or lose...just everyday people trying to get by.

“It’s just going to take everybody working together to make this happen," said Miller.

WAFF 48 News reached out to the indoor malls in north Alabama to see how they plan to regulate the governor’s order. We have not heard back yet.

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