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Not all Calgary business owners are comfortable with the idea of welcoming customers back in mid-May after the COVID-19 closes
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May 01, 2020 • • 1st May 2020 • • Read for 2 minutes • • 26 comments Photo by Brendan Miller / Postmedia
Due to Alberta’s new COVID-19 relaunch plan, some businesses could reopen as early as May 14th, but not all Calgary business owners are comfortable with the idea of welcoming customers back in two weeks.
Hatem Kaddoura owns the Midlake Barber Shop and Supreme Men’s Hair Styling in southeast Calgary. He’s not sure whether to reopen as the number of Calgarians infected with the novel coronavirus continues to rise.
“It really depends on the number of viruses. If it continues to rise, it will affect my judgment, ”said Kaddoura. “The most important thing is that you don’t want to overcrowd the store. I just want someone to come straight from the door to the chair and then leave. “
Barber shops and hair salons are among the companies allowed to reopen in the first phase of the COVID-19 relaunch in Alberta, which is expected to take place on May 14th.
Retail stores, museums and art galleries, day care centers and summer camps, as well as restaurants, cafes, lounges and bars can also be opened if they are operated at no more than half their maximum capacity.
Businesses must follow social distancing practices.
One concern for business owners is that even if they open again, customers will stay at home.
“I’m more curious to see how the public will react to whether there will actually be a huge wave of people wanting to eat out,” said JM Pelland, general manager of Mill Street Brewpub. “I can imagine that we are slowly opening again.”
Garrison Pub owner Richard Basha said he thinks it is important for all businesses to reopen, but isn’t sure his staff will be comfortable once they get back to table service.
“We have to open up, but is it safe? Is it prudent? I’m surprised it happened so quickly, ”said Basha. “I really expected that this would take until the end of July. I saw that predicted. “
Alli Said, the chef and co-owner of The Taco Shop at Mikey’s on the 12th, is a little more enthusiastic. May 16 marks the restaurant’s third birthday, and Said is keen to have some sort of celebration.
“It’s tough though because with our rental we need to talk to our landlord and see what our new deal would be,” he said, adding that he looks forward to serving customers in person rather than through delivery apps. that take a part of every sale.
Conversely, remote maintenance has worked so well for Shirl Rowsome, a co-owner of Sunnyside Arts Supplies, that she believes their store will continue to be picked up at the roadside even after they get back to welcoming customers.
“I don’t think it’s a good idea to open yet,” said Rowsome. “I expected stores to remain closed all summer, even if there is no point in opening and endangering everyone’s health with this virus if it is not contained or is around.”
The Alberta Business Council welcomed the reopening plan, saying the strategy gives companies an opportunity to restart responsibly.
“I believe companies can meet government standards and requirements,” said Adam Legge, group president. “And I’m sure the Alberta health and safety officials will see to it that everyone is playing their part.”
Twitter: @ Jasonfherring