GLASGOW — Retail businesses across the state opened for the first time on Wednesday after being ordered closed by Gov. Andy Beshear in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hazel Smith of Burkesville took advantage of the reopening of retail businesses and stopped by Trendy Me along South Green Street.
“This is my favorite place in the whole wide world to shop,” Smith said.
She was running some errands in Glasgow when she decided to stop at the clothing boutique.
“She’s very loyal. I’ve got lots of very supportive and loyal customers,” said Susan Simmons, owner of Trendy Me.
Both Smith and Simmons were wearing face masks, which Simmons said is something the state has required for the reopening of retail businesses.
“I understand if people have underlying health conditions that they may not be able to wear one. I understand that, but if that’s the case then I’m trying to work with them on a one-to-one basis and then let people in after that, ”Simmons said. “We’re at 33 percent capacity, so I can see at least three to four people safely, keeping them in each corner. I want to take care of my customers too.”
To be closed for nearly two months has been “eventful,” she said.
“Thank goodness for my customers who come regular. They have supported me. I’ve had curbside pickup and I’ve had deliveries and that’s gone over OK. It’s just not like normal when you can come in and try things on,” Simmons said. “It’s been a struggle, but after 12 years I’m going to make it through this one too.”
Simmons was excited upon learning the date she would get to reopen her business and have customers in the store.
“I actually woke up with a smile on my face,” she said. “It has been really sad. Today is a happy day whether I see one person or I don’t see anybody or I see 20. It’s a good day.”
Shortly after opening on Wednesday, Becky Barrick, owner of Awards Inc. and Elizabeth Porter Gifts on Glasgow’s East Public Square, had two to three customers who came by to pick up orders.
Barrick described the closing of her business by the state after being in business for 35 years as being “really odd.” During that time, she took orders by phone and email and did curbside deliveries.
“Just however we could manage it,” she said.
Barrick placed a liquid chalkboard outside her business, listing requirements for entering.
The number one requirement was wearing a face mask.
“We are asking you to do this to protect you and our high-risk employees,” the sign stated.
She also asked customers to use hand sanitizer that was placed by the store’s entrance. It is one of three hand sanitizing stations in the store. Customers are also asked to maintain a safe distance of 6 feet between themselves and others.
Other steps Barrick has taken to ensure the good health of her customers and employees include the installation of a sneeze guard and placing tape on the floor to help customers and employees to safely social distance themselves.
“We do temperature checks on all employees every morning,” she said. “We are trying to abide by the rules and hopefully we can keep everything going.”
Both businesses have temporarily adjusted their hours.
“We were normally open from 10 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. We’re starting back at 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Monday through Friday) and on Saturdays we’re open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. until this kind of gets a little bit better and I can bring my employees back,” Simmons said.
She does have one part-time employee who comes in one to two days a week to help out when she can’t be there.
Barrick is open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, but said the hours are subject to change.