Many businesses in Sioux Falls will soon be able to operate under eased restrictions. Back in March, the city council passed an ordinance capping patrons at 10 at many businesses. Now restaurants and bars can welcome more customers as long as there is a six foot distance between parties. Gyms and entertainment venues can have half of their posted occupancy. The ordinance goes into effect on Friday, May 8th. Many store owners may find themselves in uncharted territory as they re-open. Local organizations that support businesses are trying to make sure everyone is on the same page.
They say variety is the spice of life. And, between curbside pick-ups, mail orders and deliveries, The Tea and Spice Exchange in Downtown Sioux Falls has found a few different ways to stay in business.
“We’ve noticed people have started to come in a little bit more in the last few days,” Tami Brown, owner, said.
The store has remained open throughout the pandemic. Brown says that’s because it’s small enough and its customer flow allowed that.
“Obviously with a lot of precautions. Social distancing, we disinfect the credit card machine, and door handles and counters and everything,” Brown said.
Soon many other business owners will find themselves in similar situations.
“And we want to make sure we’re all working together so businesses aren’t confused. They won’t get into trouble if something should happen,” Sadie Swier, with Downtown Sioux Falls Inc., said.
Downtown Sioux Falls Inc. is telling businesses to follow CDC guidelines, along with state and local rules on re-opening. Swier says public health remains the number one priority.
“One of the number one precautions the CDC suggests for small businesses is they first create a plan. I think many of these businesses didn’t have a plan for a global pandemic. Now they do,” Swier said.
Brown says as more customers visit more businesses in the downtown area, she expects her store to continue to evolve its safety practices.
“We’re also working on getting some plexiglass to put up in our store like a lot of others have,” Brown said.
With so many different businesses re-opening, and so many unknowns, it’ll take a united front to move forward.
“There’s going to be a lot of reminding each other and don’t touch your face. Don’t touch the cash register without cleaning it. You know, that kind of thing. We’ll get through it,” Brown said.