Local business owners agree amended Safer at Home order should be extended

Local businesses react to extension of stay at home order

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Local business owners are reacting after Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announced she was extending her amended Safer At Home order through July 31.

For two months, businesses in Alabama have been asked to put restrictions on the number of customers allowed in their facilities, encourage social distancing, and sanitize. Now, those rules are being asked to remain in place.

Some business owners said they believe Ivey made the right decision in choosing to extend the order.

“Whatever it takes to get this virus under control,” said Chris’ Hot Dogs Owner Theo Katechis. “And we’ll survive.”

Under the order, restaurants have to maintain 50 percent capacity and spread tables six feet apart.

Katechis said they have adjusted to the new guidelines and are managing.

“It really hasn’t hurt us, because we do fast service anyway so we can still turn over the seating that we do have,” said Katechis.

Masks are required inside Chris’ Hot Dogs but Katechis said it can be hard to enforce sometimes.

“I try to but it’s hard when people are just coming in coming in,” said Katechis. “I try to wear it behind the counter but it gets so hot I just can’t wear it, but we do try to stay as far away from customers as possible that come in.”

Some customers can be seen wearing face masks outside Chris' Hot Dogs in Montgomery, Alabama.
Some customers can be seen wearing face masks outside Chris' Hot Dogs in Montgomery, Alabama. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

Retail stores are also continuing to limit capacity.

Keiauna White, owner of BeYoutiful Boutique, said customers are allowed inside her store, but appointments are preferred.

“We schedule appointment times for pick-up or shopping, but shopping, there is usually one no more than two people in the store,” said White.

White said she was glad to see the amended Safer at Home order extended as well as the mandatory mask order go into effect.

“My doors are locked, so I want to make sure that I have time to put my mask on and the person on the other side of the door has on a mask before they’re just allowed to come in,” said White.

White said she is also grateful for the large amount of support she has had from local shoppers.

“Business has been going well, and we are getting a lot of support from those in the community and those who are determined to shop local and support local businesses,” White said.

White says she also has a website, so people can order online which has helped control the number of customers inside.

Pam Jordan, owner of Pamala’s Boutique, said she was shocked the governor didn’t make any stricter adjustments to the order and thinks that keeping the restrictions in place is what is best for the state.

“You know, I think she just did what she thought was best for the state of Alabama,” said Jordan. “I think things have escalated because of the time of year.”

Jordan said they are only allowing three customers inside at a time, and letting people order online and pick up.

“We are small, we’re not a big box store, so we don’t have to worry about lots of people coming in. We’re just super safe,” Jordan said.

Some things stores are doing to keep customers safe are having customers pay at an eight-foot distance from employees at checkout, steaming clothes to remove germs, and continuously sanitizing.

“I think distance, and hand washing, and keeping everything clean is what it’s all about and we’re going to continue to do that probably forever,” Jordan said.

They are encouraging that guests wear a mask, but are not requiring them due to the limited amount of customers inside at once.

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