Milwaukee businesses prepare for rolled back COVID restrictions

NOW: Milwaukee businesses prepare for rolled back COVID restrictions

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Hubie Krawczyk runs Spire spin classes in Milwaukee's Third Ward.

He said the business has made do with COVID-19 restrictions, but they have not been good for business.

“We normally have 36 bikes," Krawczyk said. "So due to the social distancing, we only have 18 in here.”

Krawczyk expects a spike in business if the city ends most COVID-19 restrictions, as Mayor Tom Barrett announced will happen June 15.

“More members, I believe, will come back and will be more comfortable coming back without the mask,” Krawczyk said.

Robert Laurence hair studio owner Kevin McElroy is already working on plans for expansion. He thinks business could double.

“Definitely we’ll be moving forward with recruiting more staff," McElroy said. We’ll be able to work using every station, rather than every other station.”

The Metro Milwaukee Association of Commerce expects a spike in business for concert halls, movie theaters and even commercial real estate.

“We have a lot of vacant space next to us that people haven’t been moving into because there’s been no need to," MMAC Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Steve Baas said. "Well now that space can be activated. We can get new tenants in there.”

MMAC expects all these changes to have a multiplier effect on the economy.

"For instance, if an office downtown is at 50-percent capacity and goes to 100-percent capacity, that creates demand in the lunch crowd.”

Some businesses are worried the pending changes could cause short-term issues.

They’ve noticed more customers entering without masks, thinking they don’t need to wear them anymore.

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