TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - As stay at home restrictions ease up this week, some Fourth Avenue businesses are ready to open their doors.
“I’m looking forward to seeing some people personally,” said Richard Hopkins, owner of Hurricane Records on Fourth Avenue.
He said he is “cautiously optimistic” that he will be able to turn the music back on and have people in his store Thursday and Friday. For a business that relies on on-foot-traffic, the idea is a welcoming one, but one Hopkins knows will be nerve-racking for a few.
Starting Monday, per the Governor’s executive order, businesses selling goods, like small, local retailers, can start curbside pick-up, window service and by appointment services. Starting Friday, businesses can resume partial openings—with social distancing and sanitation measures put into place. The Governor’s office recommends businesses should close fitting rooms at clothing stores, screen employees before shifts, reduce occupancy inside the business and consider cloth face masks for customers and employees. Hopkins is ready to put many of these recommendations into place at his store.
“Anybody that comes in has to have a mask,” he said. “I can only have two people in the store at a time.”
He said he will also be the only employee at the store working. The coming weekend will be a trial-run after weeks of closed doors for the record shop. Hopkins said he never had an online presence before, but has now started to sell through various websites. His businesses had to evolve as quickly as the virus spread.
“It was a shock to me like it was to everybody else, I’m sure,” he said.
Just down the road from Hurricane Records, Antigone Books has already started pick-up orders.
“It’s a really quick hand off from a distance,” said Melissa Negelspach, co-owner Antigone Books.
An open door greets customers, but they are not allowed to walk in. A table blocks the entrance, and one that Negelspach and other employees use to hand off online or phone orders. It’s a shift they made quickly since closures were put into place for non-essential businesses. Still, the revenue is not enough.
“At the heart of what a bookstore is, it’s like an in-person thing,” said Negelspach. “We’re going to kind of take it day by day, week by week.”
Negelspach said the store does not have any concrete plans to fully re-open with customers walking around inside. For businesses relying on foot-traffic, like Hurricane Records and Antigone books, the coming week could see a boost in sales, but the businesses are not sure how much of a boost.
“I’m hoping, but to be honest with you, my expectations are really low right now,” said Hopkins.