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Alabama Retail Association says businesses beyond grateful to reopen Monday

Updated: May. 11, 2020 at 8:48 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Restaurants, gyms, and salons re-opened their doors Monday.

We’re On Your Side with an idea of how retailers are holding up and what’s keeping them going.

The Alabama Retail Association told us these businesses are beyond grateful to be able to open, even if at limited capacity, and prove they can do it safely.

Director of Public Relations for the Alabama Retail Association Nancy Dennis said before being able to reopen, retailers were getting about 20 percent of the business they used to get before COVID-19, but they were working three times as hard by changing their business models to adapt to survive.

Dennis said over 20 percent of the total initial unemployment claims for weeks ending on March 14 through May 2 were retail or restaurant employees.

She said Monday went well, especially for those businesses who have been preparing to open for quite some time now by limiting hours and stocking up on cleaning supplies and protective equipment.

"Business operates on hope," Dennis said. "This is their livelihood, this is their lives. And being able to open, even at a limited capacity, gives them hope. And as long as they have hope, they will continue to persevere."

Dennis says if you’d like to support a business but don’t necessarily feel comfortable going to the physical location, consider calling the business to purchase gift certificates, or ask other ways you can contribute.

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