WAXAHACHIE, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) — With so many out of work, a phased reopening is better than being shut down — that’s the consensus of many North Texans today as businesses work to stay afloat while managing the threat of COVID-19.
“We have taken our couches out, we left our benches here, we have got them spread apart for social distancing,” said Jamie Eppler, manager of Big Al’s Down the Hatch in downtown Waxahachie.
Eppler said staffers have been busy working to meet all of the state’s requirements of the phase one reopening.
“Our facility is clean, all our employees have masks on. We’re wearing gloves when we are dealing with customers. Sanitize, sanitize, sanitize constantly,” she said.
Downtown Waxahachie overflows with a picturesque charm, and yet there was an added buzz Friday as businesses and customers alike prepared to reopen.
“I think everybody’s ready to bust out of here,” Karen Anthony said. She’s among those who have grown weary of being cooped up.
Anthony said she’s meeting a friend for lunch to “start getting these businesses going again.”
The ability to reopen, even with restrictions, has been welcome news for many businesses. And yet the governor’s order was clear — the ability to reopen is not a requirement to do so.
Some restaurants said they will stick with to-go orders for now, as it’s impossible for small restaurants to be profitable with only 25% capacity.
And yet others say every little bit helps.
“We were at 0% a week ago,” said Noah Pennell, a bartender who’s now out of work because of the shutdown. “A slow and steady process — which it should be in my opinion — to get back to where we were… but, anything’s better than nothing.”
And many others agree.
“My family is ready to get out,” Anthony said. “And ready to spend some money and have a good time again.”