LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — After being closed for eight weeks because of the coronavirus pandemic, some businesses in Los Angeles County will be back in business beginning Friday.
On the list to reopen with curbside pick-up only are florists, car dealership showrooms, and stores that sell clothing, toys, music, sporting goods, and books.
For the owner of Designs by David Floral Studio in West L.A., the reopening comes just in time.
“It’s a big step forward from where it’s been for two months,” said owner David Mark.
Mark had to let go of all eight of his full-time employees when non-essential businesses were forced to close down.
He trimmed his expenses, refinanced his house, and deferred his mortgage and car payments in order to survive.
Now, one day before the biggest weekend of the year for his floral studio, Mark brought back his designers, helpers, and drivers to prepare and deliver orders for Mother’s Day weekend.
“We are technically back up and running and everybody here is happy to have a job,” he said.
America Guevara has worked for David for 26 years and said it’s the only job she’s had since moving to L.A.
“It was really hard, nervous, stress with all this happening. So I want to come back and work and I’m so happy, we are glad to be back at work,” Guevara said.
Even though Mark didn’t know his business would be allowed to reopen tomorrow, he ordered all of these flowers weeks in advance, taking a chance.
“Even though the flower markets were closed and it was difficult to get product, I had a lot of product in my refrigerator,” he said.
So far, Mark’s deliveries will be going to Hollywood, Downtown, West L.A., Marina Del Rey, and South Bay between Friday and Sunday.
He believes that the number of orders this year will be 50 percent of what he normally does during Mother’s Day weekend.
Mark hopes other businesses that order from him will also start to reopen and that his customers will be back soon.
“It’s huge, it’s huge, getting the economy going again absolutely,” Mark said.
Beau Boeckmann said he’s been looking forward to letting patrons back into the showroom at Galpin Ford.
“We are so excited to open our doors again,” he said.
While the car dealership was shut down completely for a short time, they’ve been able to operate online for weeks. However, they’ll now have to adjust their business model to adhere to the state’s public health order to reopen.
“We’ve been practicing the new normal, the new ways of doing business,” he said.
L.A. County Health director Barbara Ferrer made it clear during a press conference Thursday that as businesses reopen, they must follow the rules.
“If we don’t do this well, if we can’t really adhere to the guidance…we will see that spike that we don’t want to see,” she said.
While many business owners are excited about being able to reopen, some say that customers will be too afraid to shop in stores.
“I feel like with social media, people are either scared to get COVID, scared to spend money, and also scared to be judged by others for actually going out,” said Rebecca Kennedy, who owns Earth Baby Boutique.
She said she worries it will take months for people to shake those fears.