ROCHESTER, Minn. - Monday was the first day Minnesota retail stores, malls, and other main street businesses were allowed to reopen their doors to the public.
Peace Plaza in downtown Rochester has a lot of small businesses. One store manager says her boutique was bustling with excited customers.
“It feels amazing,” Robyn Kennedy said. “It’s super great – we’ve had a lot of customers come in today.”
Kennedy is the store manager of the Primp boutique in downtown Rochester. She says the customers she spoke with were excited to get inside the shop, even with new restrictions in place.
“They’re so happy just to be in the store environment and we have all new inventory. They (customers) can try clothes on, too, they just have to wear a mask in the fitting room. We also have hand sanitizer stations everywhere so it’s just a good vibe.”
While Primp is just one of the many retailers ecstatic to have cash flow once more, some folk like Cyra Valente, think it’s happening too soon. Valente is from South Carolina and is in the Med City this week for Mayo Clinic.
“We’ve put forth so much effort to stay secluded and get the numbers of the virus down, so then just to go 0-100 I think is a little scary,” Valente said.”
But stores wouldn’t have the Governor’s green light to reopen without added precautions in place.
“We do have disposable masks they can wear in the fitting rooms they can wear around the store as well,” Kennedy added. “We have hand sanitizers and we’re cleaning the store constantly all day and all the employees have to wear a mask, too.”
While all those safety measures are enough to put some customers' minds at ease, Valente still has her reservations.
“I think we should still be waiting a little bit longer for the death toll to go down.”
The “Stay Safe Minnesota” order allows shops to open on May 18 at half capacity if they have a social distancing plan and operate at 50 percent capacity.