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Some stores reopen easily with restrictions, while others face challenges

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MILWAUKEE COUNTY (CBS 58)- Some businesses opened immediately after Governor Tony Evers’ order to reopen stores with restrictions came out, but others may have to wait.

Winkie’s Toys and Variety in Whitefish Bay says they are ecstatic to be able to allow customers in again.

“Here we are, you know we’re all excited,” said Terry Stuhlmacher, co-owner of Winkie’s Toys and Variety.

Stuhlmacher has already gotten customers through the doors. He opened up immediately following the order. While the store is not requiring its customers wear masks, he says their employees will be wearing them. The store is also not requiring customers to sign credit card slips.

“Of course just doing the social distancing and we have Lysol at each register,” adds Stuhlmacher.

The shop closed its doors on March 22 and have been getting by with the support of customers through curbside pickup. They were also granted a PPP loan.

“We were so well received and you know, supported by the community,” said Stuhlmacher.

The order allows five customers at a store at a time and requires stores follow social distancing guidelines.

While malls are not included in the order, Bayshore mall tells CBS 58 some of their stores with exterior entrances will reopen, but says in a statement in part:

“Individual guidelines are set by each store or restaurant, so we encourage our guests to contact them directly for more information.”

The Milwaukee Metropolitan Association of Commerce, with dozens of members in the retail space, says while the news is great for some small retailers, others are not prepared to open back up.

“Some of them are going to have to figure out how to get some of their employees back and build their supply chain,” said Tim Sheehy, President of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce. “So the challenge is -- it’s great to be open, but now I have to figure out how to get back open.”

Even with challenges, Sheehy feels we’re headed in the right direction for a safe reopening.

“I respect the governor for taking this step, I think it’s an appropriate next step,” Sheehy adds.

Doctors from the Medical College of Wisconsin agree it’s a good time to turn the dial and open up the stores, they say we’ve reached steady numbers and some trends are even improving a little bit.

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Lawrence 23 days ago
Let's really hope this works out well and does not cause a new increase of infections. I do not blame elected officials who urged caution. It was done to save lives, not to please screaming opponents.
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