Local retailers react to state's easing of restrictions

By ALLEN LAMAN
alaman@dcherald.com

Monday marks the first day that local retailers and commercial businesses can return to in-shop operations, at 50% capacity.

Laura Reckelhoff, owner of Tin Lizzie’s Home Decor & Gifts in Ferdinand, will follow that guideline — while also requiring social distancing — when she opens her doors on Monday. The Main Street shop has been utilizing social media to set up curbside pickups and deliveries since March 23, and she is excited for customers to return in a safe way.

“We’ve missed it,” Reckelhoff said. “We’ve missed being open and being able to say welcome to everybody coming in.”

Curbside and delivery services will continue to be offered. Reckelhoff expressed gratitude to the patrons who continued to purchase gifts, apparel and decorations from her shop during the shutdown.

That support was felt.

“Business is absolutely not what it was or what it should have been,” Reckelhoff said. “However, I am very, very thankful for the people that have called in or messaged in.”

Siebert’s Clothing in Jasper has been operating on a limited, call-in basis for the last six weeks. Owners Jim and Jane Siebert will also open their doors to the public on Monday — their Main Street business stocked with hand sanitizer, barriers and signage promoting social distancing.

Jim explained that the “vast majority” of downtown businesses will follow suit and operate under the governor’s new guideline. If Holcomb chose to give retailers a chance to open, they decided they’d take it, Jim said.

Also in Jasper, Olinger Diamond Center has shifted its business model to a contactless format. Though the jewelry store is allowed to bring customers back inside on Monday, leadership has elected to continue its modified operations for at least a while longer.

They understand and respect the decisions other businesses are making at this time. But for the next week or two, Olinger’s doors will remain locked as the team carefully monitors the situation before proceeding with further changes.

“The health and safety of our customers, employees and community is our top priority,” Jami Olinger wrote in a Friday email. “We are choosing to err on the side of caution, paying our employees to stay home and stay safe. We are still here for our customers and will be available for personal shopping, no contact curbside delivery and free shipping.”




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