Businesses begin to reopen as Arizona takes steps in relaxing its stay-at-home order

Monday was the first day businesses deemed non-essential in Arizona are allowed to reopen to a limited degree, under Gov. Doug Ducey's revised stay-at-home order.

On April 29, Gov. Ducey announced that Arizona's stay-at-home order, which took effect on March 31will be extended to May 15.

On Monday, retailers not classified as an essential business were allowed to operate through delivery service and other means that do not entail in-store sales. On May 8, non-essential retailers will be allowed sell items to customers in-store.

Meanwhile, salons and dine-in restaurant operations will be allowed to resume on May 8 and 10, respectively, with special measures in place.

Non-essential business owner thrilled with reopening

"We are excited to see them," said Michelle Wolfe, who owns Sibley's West Chandler and Arizona Gift Shop in Chandler. She is thrilled with news that she is now allowed to reopen her business.

"All of the uncertainty was crazy hard, so knowing now, even on a limited basis, we can open even to have the funds for our team to get them back with some activity is really important," said Wolfe.

Wolfe's shop is only allowing customers in by appointment, but they already have had people show up on Monday.

"One woman said she had been here 3 times since we have been closed, each time someone here and that would be open," said Wolfe.

Wolfe says her gift shop supports 230 other businesses in Arizona, and she hopes customers will be in soon to support everyone.

For those that reopen, a new way of doing things

Meanwhile, at another Valley business called Manor, a stack of orange sacks sit right inside the front door, each one ready to be hand-delivered to customers, as they sit in their cars.

"Quick, easy process. Very convenient, and I was, like, shopping with these guys," said Terrance Richardson.

"I know the shoes, I know the brand, so all that was really cool, and they're really helpful, so no complaints," said Emily Little.

Manor went from 10% online sales to 100% overnight. The store sells mostly stylish sneakers, and in the coming days, they will begin appointment-only shopping, taking a few careful steps toward re-opening.

"We're being cautious," said Jeremy Davis. "Don't wanna jump the gun too soon and have to shut down again, and we want to look out for the safety of our employees and customers."

At Mae & Marie, a chic boutique made for mothers and kids, the changes are a part of what they call "pivot or perish."

"It's one or the other, so now, we switch our focus," said Taucha Silk. "Now we're switching it all to social media. We don't have that client coming in."

Mae & Marie has had to tinker with its inventory since they were forced to shut down, switch focus to social media, and rely on loyal customers.

With curbside pickup now available, and in-store sales returning soon, Silk insists the store will be even stronger and more glamorous in the end.

"It's hard because we don't have somebody paying the bills," said Silk. "We will be so much stronger, and we are so thankful and grateful that we're still here."

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RELATED: Is it the flu, a cold or COVID-19? Different viruses present similar symptoms

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Additional resources

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - How it spreads, symptoms, prevention, treatment, FAQ

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus

https://espanol.cdc.gov/enes/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html (In Spanish/En Español)

Arizona COVID-19 Response - Public resources, FAQ, webinars

https://www.azdhs.gov/coronavirus

https://www.azdhs.gov/preparedness/epidemiology-disease-control/infectious-disease-epidemiology/es/covid-19/index.php#novel-coronavirus-home (In Spanish/En Español)

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