WARSAW — It felt nice for Brenda Kelly to reopen Tackbary’s Trophies on Friday.
And that’s even with slew of safety measures she and other retailers have enacted as the Finger Lakes region embarked on Phase 1 of its economic reopening.
She now offers curbside pickup. People need to wear a mask if they enter the store, and a sign will direct them where to stand.
Kelly sanitizes the door handles, surfaces, and items such as communal pens between customers. Products and boxes are sprayed with disinfectant prior to pickup.
“It’s easy for me to take it to the car, or they can come inside the door to that little spot and take it and go,” she said. “I also started up with PayPal, so they don’t have to exchange money.”
It’s all part of the customer safety and security she and others are offering as businesses start to reemerge in the COVID-19 era.
The Finger Lakes region, which includes the four-county GLOW region, is one of five regions across upstate which began reopening Friday.
Businesses were reminded that they must have plans for how to keep employees and customers safe and that those plans must be prominently displayed.
New York state is requiring each reopening business to develop a written safety plan outlining how its workplace will prevent the spread of COVID-19. Just like Tackbary’s Trophies, a business may fill out a template fulfill the requirement or may develop its own safety plan.
The safety plan does not need to be submitted to a state agency for approval but must be retained on the premises of the business and must be made available to the New York State Department of Health or local health or safety authorities in the event of an inspection.
Business owners — even those operating now as essential businesses — must read and affirm here the State’s industry-specific guidance on how to safely operate in accordance with the health and safety requirements designed to protect employees and customers.
One of the biggest and most-obvious factors is the reopenings will ultimately take place in four phases.
Downtowns in Genesee, Orleans, Wyoming and Livingston counties still remained much quieter on Friday than what area residents remembered from February and early March.
Main Street in Medina on Friday had cars rumbling down the street. However, while finding a parking spot on the normally bustling street — especially on a warm, summer-like day — is usually difficult, it was easy to find a place to park on the street in the early afternoon.
There were some people walking down the sidewalks, masks covering their faces.
Kelly, in Warsaw, said that as the owner and proprietor of Tackbary’s Trophies, she doesn’t have employees, which made the reopening somewhat easier — she didn’t have to worry about providing them with masks, or having them maintain social distancing.
In that sense, it made Kelly’s shop a perfect candidate to reopen. The location doesn’t have public restrooms, so it was another factor she didn’t need to worry about.
Tackbary’s Trophies also offers promotional and gift items, which have taken a new focus as Father’s Day and graduations approach.
But simply reopening feels nice.
“Absolutely,” she said. “IT feels good. I didn’t have a have a lot of customers, but opening the shades and putting out ‘open’ sign out, and putting my lights on, and knowing my people feel (secure), it was a very nice feeling today.”
Business owners are advised to continue to regularly check the NY Forward website for guidance that is applicable to their business or certain parts of their business functions. In addition, Empire State Development provides a Frequently Asked Questions section of its website that is specific to NY Forward and business reopening.
Individual counties also offer additional options.
Livingston County Economic Development also provides local reopening resources on its website. For questions or more information, contact the Economic Development office at (585) 243-7124.
“Livingston County is fortunate to be part of the Phase 1 reopening as we begin the process toward economic recovery. We need residents and business owners to stay diligent in their efforts to flatten the curve and reduce further spread of this virus,” said Bill Bacon, director of Livingston County Economic Development. “Also, please consider your local businesses first as they all need your support and understanding during this time. This recovery will not happen overnight, but with a strong effort by our loyal residents, we can overcome the impact this life-altering scenario has created.”
Kelly recommended businesses will want to do their reopenings correctly, and want to make sure people feel safe — and she wants to be safe as well. She had “nothing but time” during the pause, so she made sure she was ready.
She believes such reopenings will be easier for the smaller businesses, as opposed to major outlets.
“I think that’s it,” she said. “Just try to be careful and do what you’re supposed to do, and move forward and hope for the best.”
For a list of business sectors that are authorized to reopen during Phase 1, as well as guidance for each sector, visit the NY Forward website.
The state’s more detailed list of Phase One businesses include:
Phase One: Construction
n Building Equipment Contractors
n Building Finishing Contractors
n Foundation, Structure, and Building Exterior Contractors
n Highway, Street and Bridge Construction
n Land Subdivision
n Nonresidential Building Construction
n Residential Building Construction
n Utility System Construction
Phase One: Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting
n Greenhouse, Nursery, and Floriculture Production
n Other Animal Production
n Other Crop Production
n Support Activities for Animal Production
n Support Activities for Crop Production
n Support Activities for Forestry
Phase One: Retail Trade
Phase One includes delivery, curbside, and in-store pickup service only for the following businesses:
n Clothing Stores
n Direct Selling Establishments
n Electronics and Appliance Stores
n Electronic Shopping and Mail-Order Houses
n Furniture and Home Furnishing Stores
n General Merchandise Stores
n Health and Personal Care Stores
n Jewelry, Luggage, and Leather Goods Stores
n Lawn and Garden Equipment and Supplies Stores
n Office Supplies, Stationery, and Gift Stores
n Used Merchandise Stores
n Shoe Stores
n Sporting Goods, Hobby, Musical Instrument and Book Stores
n Other Miscellaneous Store Retailers
Phase One: Manufacturing
n Apparel Manufacturing
n Computer and Electronic Product Manufacturing
n Electric Lighting Equipment Manufacturing
n Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing
n Furniture and Related Product Manufacturing
n Leather and Allied Product Manufacturing
n Machinery Manufacturing
n Nonmetallic Mineral Product Manufacturing
n Paper Manufacturing
n Petroleum and Coal Products Manufacturing
n Plastics and Rubber Products Manufacturing
n Printing and Related Support Activities
n Textile Mills
n Textile Product Mills
n Wood Product Manufacturing
n Other Miscellaneous Manufacturing
Phase One: Wholesale Trade
n Apparel, Piece Goods, and Notions Merchant Wholesalers
n Chemical and Allied Products Merchant Wholesalers
n Furniture and Home Furnishing Merchant Wholesalers
n Household Appliances and Electrical and Electronic Goods Merchant Wholesalers
n Machinery, Equipment, and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers
n Metal and Mineral (except Petroleum) Merchant Wholesalers
n Paper and Paper Product Merchant Wholesalers
n Professional and Commercial Equipment and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers
n Wholesale Electronic Markets and Agents and Brokers
n Miscellaneous Durable Goods Merchant Wholesalers
n Miscellaneous Nondurable Goods Merchant Wholesalers
Additional details is expected on future opening phases as those phases approach. The subsequent phases will include:
n Phase Two: professional services, retail, administrative support, real estate and rental and leasing.
n Phase Three: restaurants and food services.
n Phase Four: arts and entertainment, recreation and education.
(Includes reporting by Ben Beagle, Matt Surtel and Mallory Diefenbach)