NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Wednesday is a big day for many small businesses across Long Island as they move one step closer to “business as usual.”

A safety shield secured in place at Chris & Rob’s Hallmark in Garden City is part of their reopening plans.

“It doesn’t hurt to be cautious,” said owner Chris Hollenstein, who says this part of the plan is to welcome loyal customers back to the store.

“We’re going to be calling them personally because we have a list,” said Hollenstein.

Phase 1 of re-opening starts Wednesday, meaning retailers can offer in-store or curbside pick up, reports CBS2’s Vanessa Murdock.

“We got great news from the governor today, we are on track for Phase 1 tomorrow,” said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran.

“There is some confusion, out there: Construction, curbside or in-store retail pickup, manufacturing wholesale trade and agriculture, fishing and forestry” as part of Phase 1, said Curran.

On Fire Island, some shop owners are just getting word of the go-ahead.

“We can never get back what we lost,” said Lynnette Vitale, owner of Hanalei and Kula’s. “We’re hoping to just salvage the rest of the season.”

Vitale says she’s working hard to get business booming again at her lifestyle boutique.

“I’m trying to download things for our website, trying to do Facetime videos,” she said.

She’s not the only one.

“How do I pay my rent with curbside delivery and in-store pickup?” said Karen McAvoy, owner of Madison’s Niche in Garden City.

McAvoy says the stress of closing all four of her stores for more than two months is overwhelming.

“The suffering and the waiting and waiting and waiting,” said McAvoy.

She wants to see her customers again, not just for a pick-up.

“We just want to get open, we want to be open for business,” she said. “We’re willing to be open safely with safety guidelines, we are set up for that.”

She has given her employees the heads up to get ready. She’s order masks, sanitizers and signs to make sure social distancing happens.

Phase 2 is scheduled to happen in about two weeks.

Watch Dick Brennan’s report

Meanwhile, Phase 1 came to Westchester and Rockland counties on Tuesday.

At the Silk Road store in Bronxville, businesses is finally coming back and customers are thrilled.

“Engaging with people, investing in the economy, it’s all great,” customer Carrie Donohue told CBS2’s Dick Brennan.

Owner Susan Piper says the road back has been tough.

“From an economic point of view, it’s been very hard, but from a personal point of view, it’s been very hard,” she said.

Down the block at the Silver Spoon kids clothing store, owner Barbara Amar says customers are reaching out.

“People call or email or text and we wrap it up and they come and get it, knock on the door and we hand it to them,” Amar said, “and everyone seems a little happier today.”

At the Stock Exchange, Gov. Andrew Cuomo rang the opening bell, and later, the market soared, the DOW up nearly 530 points and the S&P closed just under 3,000.

“This market is all about anticipation,” said Tim Ghriskey, with the investment counsel firm Inverness Counsel. “It’s anticipating economic recovery, it’s anticipating people going back to work.”

RELATED STORY: New York City Small Business Owners Losing Patience With Government Over Not Being Allowed To Reopen

What about New York City getting back to work?

Mayor Bill de Blasio says New York is on track for a Phase 1 reopening some time in the first half of June.

That’s not fast enough for some businesses, though. A coalition of 300 small business owners have said they are not waiting and they plan to reopen Wednesday.

Comments

Leave a Reply