ODESSA, Mo. — It’s not quite business as usual, but at least one community in the area will allow some non-essential businesses to open as early as Saturday.
The strict stay-at-home order in Odessa expires at midnight Friday; however, the city’s mayor said they will adopt the state’s stay-at-home order.
Odessa Mayor Adam Couch said they’re still taking the pandemic seriously, but he believes based on the number of COVID-19 cases in Lafayette County, businesses can gradually start to reopen.
Hope Turner has been counting down the days to when she could return to work at her flower shop, Lavander and Lace.
Turner, 19, just opened the store two months before the stay-at-home order forced her to shut down.
“Its been hard,” she said. “It’s really scary, and as a business owner, to think that you could lose something you just started.”
Even with some Odessa businesses allowed to reopen, they will still have to follow social distancing guidelines and have a 10-person limit inside stores. Hair, nail and massage parlors will remain closed for now.
“Obviously the virus isn’t gone. There’s still a whole bunch of uncertainty but just being able to essentially put food on the table or keep this roof over our heads, it’s very exciting,” Turner said. “We are able to slowly start building our economy back.”
Across town at HD Graphics & Apparel, owners Darryl and Hillary Ryder said spring is usually their busiest time of year.
“We had a lot of teams that had placed orders for uniforms, spirit wear, things like that, and when those orders went in place, a lot of that got put on hold,” Darryl said.
They have mixed emotions about re-opening and aren’t expecting a lot of foot traffic, even with the order lifted.
“We’re going to take it slow and ease back in because we don’t have a lot of business we would have because there’s still a lot of unknowns,” he said.
Both business owners are making changes to their operating procedures, offering curbside pick up, no-contact deliveries and over-the-phone payments.
Salons and dine-in services will be closed until at least May 4, when the state starts to ease restrictions.
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson is expected to release more details on reopening for non-essential businesses early next week.