Mirror picture by Patrick Waksmunski
For a lot of space companies, it’s opening day, however they are going to be pitching merchandise, not baseballs.
Blair, Bedford and Cambria counties entered the yellow section of Gov. Tom Wolf’s three-step plan, permitting extra retailers to reopen following the March shutdown to stem the unfold of COVID-19.
Centre and Clearfield counties moved to yellow every week in the past.
Below the yellow section, companies are permitted to conduct in-person operations, as long as they strictly adhere to the necessities for companies permitted to function through the COVID-19 catastrophe emergency to make sure the security and well being of workers and the general public.
Most beforehand designated nonlife-sustaining companies can reopen. Any enterprise that does open should observe strict tips, together with however not restricted to, face coverings for entry and the flexibility to observe social distancing.
The Blair County Chamber of Commerce has been publishing a day by day informational message known as “What’s it imply to be yellow?’”
“The message will focus not solely on procedures however will even replace companies on further alternatives for grants and loans,” Chamber President/CEO Joe Hurd mentioned. “We acknowledge what a tough time that is for companies. Many are already in survival mode. Whereas we don’t advocate for companies to function outdoors the realm of the governor’s mandate, we do perceive the frustration that has moved us up to now. The well being of our residents is essential. The well being of our companies and our economic system can also be essential.”
Jewellery shops will probably be amongst these opening their doorways at present.
“I’m planning to reopen with a smooth buyer opening,” mentioned President Don Beerbower of Beerbower Jewelers, Hollidaysburg. “I’m prepared to work with individuals. This can make my life simpler and provides prospects some consolation. We’re involved about your security as properly. Hopefully prospects will wish to come and see me.”
Beerbower admits that challenges lie forward.
“There may be some pent-up demand, however different individuals will battle. I’m optimistic there will probably be enterprise,” he mentioned. “I warning it might be a long-time restoration for lots of companies.”
Kranich’s Jewelers reopened its State Faculty retailer final Friday and can reopen in Altoona and Johnstown at present.
“We’re excited to reopen. We’ve got been in contact with many purchasers through the closure and consider we’re in a greater place than most retailers to offer a really protected and wholesome procuring atmosphere,” President Charles Kranich mentioned.
Kranich mentioned a number of work has been achieved to organize for reopening.
“We’re partaking in important workers coaching that may enable us to far exceed the options of the CDC for cleanliness and social distancing for employees and prospects,” he mentioned. “We’ve got additionally bought a lot in the way in which of provides and tools to make sure we’re in a position to preserve an especially excessive requirements for a protected retail atmosphere. Customers and workers will probably be required to put on masks. If a client doesn’t have one, we can present one previous to coming into the shop.”
Dorman’s Jewellery, Altoona will reopen at present with a number of adjustments on the retailer, in response to its web site, and Unkel Joe’s Woodshed within the Nice Valley Buying Heart additionally will reopen at present.
“It has been means too lengthy, and it has been so unusual how all the pieces labored,” Unkel Joe’s Basic Supervisor Tim Baker mentioned. “We’re used to working all the time. All of our workers are coming again. The shutdown gave us an opportunity to replace our enterprise practices, one thing we needed to do to turn out to be modernized. The issue is it hit throughout trout season. There isn’t a means we are able to make up that loss. We are going to observe all the tips to do issues the correct means.”
Baker mentioned, “We could have a one-hour time interval from 10 to 11 a.m. Wednesday for senior residents and folks at excessive danger.”
Capability will probably be restricted to 100 individuals, together with workers, and customers are requested to put on masks.
Fiore Furnishings, Altoona, will open its doorways at 10 a.m. at present with incentives, together with lowered costs and no curiosity for 36 months, President Robert Fiore mentioned in an commercial in Thursday’s Mirror.
Fiore’s has put into place sanitizing and working procedures to make sure prospects’ visits are protected and comfy.
Gross sales associates will put on masks, and any worker who’s ailing will probably be required to remain at house, Fiore mentioned.
It’s additionally again to enterprise at present for Cheryl’s Critter Cuts, Hollidaysburg, a full-service pet grooming salon.
“We’re excited and anxious to get again to work caring for all of our furry pals. When the closures have been first introduced, two weeks appeared like a very long time, however we understood. We by no means dreamed two weeks would flip into two months,” mentioned proprietor/supervisor Amy Lantz.
The enterprise has been taking steps to reopen safely.
“Everyone seems to be taking an internet course for groomers concerning grooming and COVID-19,” Lantz mentioned. “We’re going to open with our common hours with one exception. We will probably be implementing a selected time of day for toenail solely appointments in an try and restrict the variety of individuals in our store.”
Susan’s Canine Grooming Salon, Altoona, will reopen at present, however won’t be taking over any new purchasers, in response to a recording on the enterprise’ answering machine.
Boscov’s in Logan City Heart will reopen at
11 a.m. Saturday. All prospects and workers should put on masks and observe social distancing whereas within the retailer. Earlier than reopening, shops have been deep cleaned.
“We’ve intensified cleansing excessive quantity areas equivalent to loos, railings, doorways and procuring carts. Registers will probably be disinfected after every translation. Hand sanitizers can be found all through the shop. We’ve applied site visitors patterns to make your entrance and exit from our shops protected. We’ve got put in plexiglass shields at every register,” chairman/CEO Jim Boscov mentioned in an commercial in Thursday’s Mirror.
The Logan Valley Mall, with its anchors Macy’s and J.C. Penney Co., won’t be reopening right now.
“The governor has requested that enclosed malls stay closed, and we can reopen through the inexperienced section. … We are going to be sure you maintain the group posted on a possible date for the complete reopening, and within the meantime, we’re within the strategy of growing a plan that may enable the mall to sooner or later open underneath new cleansing protocols and social distancing tips,” mentioned mall Basic Supervisor Dan Might.
Mall workers has been working carefully with possession, Mason Asset Administration and Namdar Realty Group, to make sure that the right procedures and protocols are in place and enforced on the property to securely reopen.
“We carried out a deep cleansing and sanitizing after closing the mall, and can conduct one other spherical of cleansing previous to reopening. Our housekeeping personnel will always clear all excessive site visitors areas, ensuring that these areas are disinfected on a frequent foundation to satisfy or exceed CDC tips,” Might mentioned.
Mall hours will probably be decided as soon as the go-ahead to reopen is given.
Hurd mentioned he’s excited to see native companies reopen, however the chamber workplace will stay closed.
“We’ve got persevered,” he mentioned. “We nonetheless have some business sectors that haven’t been given the go-ahead to reopen, and we have to proceed to advocate on their behalf. The flexibility of our enterprise group to get sufficiently again on its ft will virtually actually parallel our county’s capability to return to some semblance of regular.”
Mirror Employees Author Walt Frank is at 946-7467.