MASON CITY, Iowa - It's an announcement that was highly anticipated: the Hawkeye State is set to reopen.
During her daily press conference, Governor Kim Reynolds announced that beginning this Friday, more restrictions will be eased for businesses across the state. On Friday, businesses that were restricted in 22 counties such as restaurants, fitness centers and libraries will be able to reopen, along with hair salons, barber shops, massage therapy businesses and tattoo shops statewide, with restrictions like social distancing and limiting capacity..
For those getting back to business, the Pappajohn Center at NIACC has been working with owners through the pandemic as a guide to work through issues like business counseling and connecting them with state resources and assistance programs to help keep the lights on.
During a Wednesday morning webinar, Robin Bostrom with the Iowa Downtown Resource Center shared strategies on how businesses were able to remain in operation without having customers to come in, as well as a game plan for when its time to reopen, such as establishing an opening date, and communicating changes in hours, policy changes and signage, even changing your store layout.
"If you need to experience social distancing with your customers, does that mean you need to move some things around? What kind of signage are you going to need to communicate that to your customers?"
In addition, Bostrom encourages owners to include updating your social presence on platforms like Google, and communicating alternative ways for customers to shop.
"We have to build back the confidence for our customers that it's safer to come shop with us. And you'll have to think about what does that mean for you."
There are still businesses that will not be able to reopen just yet; bars, theatres, casinos, senior centers, pools, bowling alleys, playgrounds, zoos, museums, and skating rinks and parks will remain closed until at least May 27th.