Restart of coastal economy gives small businesses, restaurants a chance

Coronavirus

GULF SHORES, Ala. (WKRG) — Mary Wright tried to open her barbershop a couple of weeks ago and was shut down.

“I’m happy to hear, finally, finally.” Monday she will be back in business again. “Almost nervous a little bit.”

Restaurants also get to re-open their dining rooms. “The word is 50 percent,” says chef and owner of The Diner Steve Kazman. “We can open Monday so I think everybody is looking forward to opening up.”

Re-opening business ahead of schedule is a good first step according to Gulf Shores Mayor Robert Craft, but is it enough to save the season?

“I think the jury is still out. It’s going to be harder, everybody, the city included, we are going to have to be budget conscious.”

Gulf Shores Mayor Robert Craft

The rush now to get everything ready. Restaurant supply trucks stopped running on weekends because business was so slow. Staffing could be a challenge because of child-care issues or employees not willing to come back to work.

“I don’t know if we can save the season,” says Kazman. “We can certainly save something and get people back to work.”

“I’m a survivor,” adds Wright. “I’m going to make it. I won’t let somebody else put me down. I’ll do it on my own but I won’t let somebody else do it.”

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