Milwaukee businesses prepare to reopen with restrictions

Posted at 4:57 PM, Apr 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-28 19:01:07-04

MILWAUKEE — Relaxed restrictions for non-essential businesses start Wednesday morning at 8 a.m. Among the types of businesses that can reopen are outdoor rentals, dog groomers, self-service car washes, and small engine repair shops.

However, some business owners are waiting a few days to make sure they are prepared.

"We’re definitely scrambling a little bit but it’s a good scramble," said Derek Collins, one of the owners of Brew City Kayak in Milwaukee.

Between the weather and preps needed to reopen Brew City Kayak is waiting until Saturday to welcome customers.

"It should be a really awesome fun Saturday. We have about eight rentals booked already and we’re hoping to get some more," said Collins.

COVID-19 procedures mean bookings and waivers will be done online. Staff will have cleaning supplies ready and kayakers will be asked to wear a mask when talking with workers. The business will also be limited to rentals. No tours will be conducted.

"We weren’t able to get any of the PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) funding so for us to actually have customers and have an income coming in it means the world to us." said Collins.

At Community Bark in Bay View, owner Mary Kilpatrick was pleasantly surprised to find out she could reopen.

For the past few weeks, Community Bark has only been able to sell dog food. It is a small percent of their business that Kilpatrick says got even smaller during safer at home.

"It makes me feel good to know I can bring my employees back to work because that’s what they all want to do. Also just the whole idea of bringing revenue in again. It’s amazing how quickly what you think you have as a reserve is gone," said Kilpatrick.

Between cleaning, redoing schedules, and sorting out the state's guidelines Kilpatrick says they hope to reopen with limited services until the weekend.

"It’s just been a cascade of requests which is a really good problem to have, but we probably got about 100 people that have reached out already to ask for appointments. So it’s going to be a challenge for us to get through that but we will," said Kilpatrick.

If you have any questions about if a business has reopened call ahead.

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