Retail And Non-Essential Businesses Reopen For Curbside

"I think small businesses are a big part economy. The more small businesses we can get up and running, I think it will be a big help for everyone," said Top Knots to Tails Co-owner Karla Wirtz.

DULUTH, Minn- Minnesota Governor Tim Walz recently gave the green light for retail and some non-essential businesses to reopen, but only for curbside pickup and delivery.

And Monday was the first day shops re-open with those restrictions.

Thousands of retail and other non-essential businesses have been closed for more than a month due to the Stay-at-Home executive order.

For many small businesses that long closure made things a little tough.

“The month that we were off made a huge dent in what we were able to do,” said Top Knots to Tails Co-owner Karla Wirtz.

Top Knots to Tails in Duluth reopened for the first time after the month-long hiatus, but only for curbside and delivery of pets needing grooming services.

“We have had lots of phone calls of people wondering when they can get their dogs in and if we’re open,” said Wirtz.

The co-owner says although, many businesses can not fully reopen,
the Governor’s decision to ease some restrictions may have been what was needed to help the economy begin to rebuild.

“I think small businesses are a big part economy. The more small businesses we can get up and running, I think it will be a big help for everyone,” said Wirtz.

But allowing retail and non- essential businesses to reopen only for curbside may not be ideal for some.

Austin-Jarrow Sports in Duluth, which sells running shoes and apparel, relies on customer interactions.

Unfortunately, not being able to allow customers in the store makes it more difficult.

“It’s a mixed blessing for us. It’s great to be open, but it’s hard to sell shoes without people coming in to try them on, said Co-owner Jarrow Wahman. “We are doing the best we can.

Luckily, most people already know what they want.

This helps relieve the stress of this new normal.

“We can just sell it to them over the phone then deliver it to them in their car. Maybe a couple of people can try on some shoes out on the sidewalk, said Wahman.

The co-owner says reopening on a limited basis will give his business a boost, but he feels, it should have been exempt from the non-essential list all along.

“A store like ours is kind of an essential business because for no other reason so many people are out exercising walking and running, said Wahman. “Their shoes are falling apart. We need to be able to have them come in an try on shoes so they can stay active.

For now, the owner of Austin-Jarrow is remaining hopeful to open his doors to the public sometime soon.

The Minnesota Stay-at-home order has been extend through May 18 to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

This means many businesses won’t be able to allow customers in their stores for at least another couple of weeks.

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