Some Mississippi retailers re-open after mandatory closures

Coronavirus

OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (WKRG) — Mississippi has begun the process of gradually re-opening the economy. On Monday many retailers were able to open back up.

April Burks owns clothing boutique Love Ivy in downtown Ocean Springs. She is happy to be able to welcome in customers again.

“We don’t have a problem with closing because we care about our country, we care about our customers and ourselves so we want to keep everybody safe, but at the same time there has to be a line. There has to be a time when we can start opening again,” said Burks.

Foot traffic drives revenue for small businesses in Ocean Springs, so being closed for six weeks has really put a strain on these business owners who still have overhead costs to pay just to keep their doors open.

“It has been very difficult because you have to figure out how you are going to pay your bills without any cash flow at all,” said Ariel Taylor who owns The Bay Collection boutique.

While retailers can be open, they do have to reduce their capacity by at least 50%. Stores must also follow CDC and health department guidelines on safety to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

“People are ready. I think that we’re used to social distancing and we know that we’re going to have to sanitize and re-sanitize and keep things as safe as we possibly can,” said Taylor.

Not all businesses are able to open under Governor Reeves’ new order. Entertainment venues, salons, gyms, spas, and other close-contact service providers have not been given the green light to open. Restaurants are still limited to take-out only.

It is possible restrictions on other businesses could be lifted in two weeks when Governor Reeves re-evaluates the situation.

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