Small business owners in Charlotte encouraged by successful reopenings

Updated: May. 11, 2020 at 6:03 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - For the first time in several weeks, people were allowed to shop at local malls and retailers over the weekend.

Small business owners told WBTV that they were happy to see the turnout.

Bob Emory, who owns Black Lion in south Charlotte, said the coronavirus has threatened the future of his 25-year-old business.

“We had two choices basically," Emory said. "One was to put the key in the door and lock up and shut it down, or do what we can to survive.”

Emory said a small business loan saved them.

“I’m very thankful for the stimulus packages,” he said. “Without those, we would not be here. I’m sure of that.”

Emory said more than 300 customers stepped inside for the business’s reopening over the weekend.

“We’ve modified our entire frontend. We opened it up so that when you come down the aisle without really having to come into contact with a lot of people,” manager Elisabeth Emory said.

The stpre owners are giving protection to shoppers eager to be back.

Julie’s Boutique in the Park Road Shopping Center also reopened with a bang.

“Our stores were all very busy, however, we did maintain the limited amount of people we can have in the stores," office manager Mary Sawicki said.

Julie’s Boutique had a plan when people lined up outside.

“We had some racks outside so when we were full in here they shopped the racks outside,” Sawicki said.

It’s a new normal that owners say could be necessary for quite a while.

“Make sure the public feels really safe and excited to shop in our store,” Emory said.

The stores also offer curbside pick-up if you’re not comfortable going inside.

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