Community

Kentucky retail businesses are officially allowed to reopen to the public Wednesday if they meet the requirements laid out in Governor Andy Beshear’s Healthy at Work plan, including limits on customers and social distancing requirements.

Ryan King, the owner of Louisville shop Quest Outdoors, said he’s been ready to reopen for quite some time.

“I think we could have been open sooner because we’ve been ready for it for a month now. We’ve made all the preparations before they actually allowed us to, so we’ve been ready for this,” King said.

The pandemic has meant that for the first time in 18 years, King was forced to lay off some of his employees which included his own son.

“It really broke my heart. We’re trying to bring everyone back as quickly as possible” King said.

Under the Beshear administration’s health guidelines, King said the store will be able to serve 50 customers at a given time in order to stay compliant with the 33% maximum capacity rule.

For smaller shops like Vintage Banana, a thrift clothing store in the Highlands, they will only be able to serve six customers at a time.

During these past two months of not being open, Vintage Banana owner Josh Dunning said he’s been exploring how he could expand the store’s online presence.

“It’s kind of kicked our butts into gear to get our online presence out there on a website when we have customers all over the place,” Dunning said. “But it’s kind of opened our eyes to that aspect of our business.”

Despite the changes that these shops have had to make, they do expect a good turnout of customers for their first day of reopening.

At Quest Outdoors, King said he’s somewhat nervous about the possibility of a large turnout of customers, but nonetheless he’s prepared.

“People have been contacting us and it’s been wonderful actually,” King said. “It’s kind of what kept me going to be honest, because our customers have gone out of their way.”

Larger retail centers including the Mall of St. Matthews and Oxmoor Center are also expected to reopen.

An emailed statement by Brookfield Properties, the property manager of the malls, says the centers will be open from 11 a.m. till 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

The statement also mentions that the malls will implement new measures such as hand sanitizing stations and enforcement of touch-free interactions.

On Friday, May 22, Kentucky is expected to allow restaurants to reopen at 33% maximum occupancy.