With anxiousness and excitement, Jackson County business owners preparing to reopen


LEE’S SUMMIT, Mo. — Jackson County has now released details of its reopening plan, which begins May 11.

It closely mirrors plans in other metro municipalities with a slow, phased approach. Many businesses will be allowed to have 25% capacity to start.

Although it’s still a few days away, eastern Jackson County businesses are already preparing for how they’ll adjust to the new normal.

Cans chugging down the production line are music to the ears for Crane Brewing Company in Raytown.

“We’re happy to get some sense of normalcy back,” said Chris Meyers, Crane Brewing co-founder.

Like so many small businesses, Crane’s shifted operations during the coronavirus pandemic.

“We built an online store like everyone else so people can place their orders, and we’ll bring the beer out to them,” Meyers said. “We’re really trying to push that as much as possible.”

But the brewery is ready to reopen its taproom and is looking at using event space to add tables so customers can practice social distancing.

“It may not be come whenever you want,” Meyers said. “We’ve talked about doing reservations to control flow and have a special time where people can come out here and have a beer and feel like there’s some sense of normalcy. We’re excited to get something done.”

Whistle Stop Coffee in downtown Lee’s Summit is ready to reopen, too.

“We miss everybody, and we’re excited to get back to our normal, whatever that normal may be,” Whistle Stop Coffee owner Candace Jennings said.

The shop’s only doing curbside sales right now and recently started using Door Dash.

Starting Monday, Jackson County will allow restaurant dining rooms, retail stores and nail and hair salons to reopen at 25% capacity if they have 10,000 square feet or less. Larger businesses can reopen at 10% capacity, while also encouraging physical distancing.

Many companies are increasing safety measures to make it comfortable for customers who are ready to get out.

“Right now, we put floor decals on our floor to make sure people are spacing themselves apart,” Jennings said. “Obviously masks and gloves, and we’ll do hourly sanitary cleanings on top of just every moment cleanings.”

Gatherings, like church services, will still be limited to 10 people for now. Fitness centers, playgrounds and entertainment spaces will stay closed.

Small businesses hope the generosity the community’s shown during the quarantine will continue as they reopen their doors Monday.

The full Eastern Jackson County Recovery Overview plan is available on the county’s website.

Jackson County announced their reopening date in unity with Wyandotte County and Johnson County, Kansas, on May 1. Their plans differ from Kansas City’s, which initiated a soft opening on May 6.

Read: Find your reopening plan as stay-at-home orders come to an end across the Kansas City metro

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