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Why this Milwaukee business owner can open now but is choosing to re-open in the summer

Posted at 5:32 AM, May 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-15 10:44:55-04

MILWAUKEE — We understand how hard this time has been for our small business owners and their employees.

That is why we started a new initiative called The Rebound Milwaukee.

TMJ4 News is determined to help you find resources to get back to work.

Somehow the fallout of this virus is taking a toll on our health and finances even if we have never had it.

Businesswoman Stephanie Davies feels the pressure, “Obviously there’s days where I feel broken and what’s the point of all this and that’s a universal feeling right now we're dealing with so many emotions.”

Davies , the owner of retail art gallery, The Waxwing, plans to keep her sales online only.

She explains, “I have someone on my staff who’s actually waiting for a kidney transplant so they’re  very immune compromised.”

Missy Hughes, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation CEO understands Davies’ situation, “The way we're referring to it is ‘lives and livelihoods’ and I hope that we consider public health as much as we can.”

Davies hopes others will understand the constant changes can be overwhelming. Davies already planned to bring back the staff June 1 and fully open sometime in mid-June.

Hughes says, “I think we're going to see a slower opening than just flipping a switch.”

WEDC worked with state health officials to create this guideline to get people back to work safely. This includes how to let customers know about policy changes in your store and reminding workers to disinfect frequently touched objects.

Davies still has questions, “There’s also some shops where 5 people in a shop - you’re going to be so spread out its going to be impossible to see what they’re touching ,and keep up with cleaning those items.”

Hughes says they hear her concerns. They are studying other states that have chosen to completely re-open, “And everybody’s wanting to see ok so what kind of spikes of the virus do we see what kind of consumer activity to we see?”

For now, Davies does not qualify for any pandemic loans.

The CEO of WEDC hinted she’s already spoken to the governor about loosening those guidelines, “I think well see some adjustments of these programs and hopefully some flexibilities to address those individual situations that Make sense to stay closed or not to rehire.”

Here’s your Rebound Rundown.Follow the WEDC guidelines. Re-opening questions: (855) 469-4249.Expect shopping to look different. Guidelines will evolve.

Small business owners are being reminded that best business practices recommended by WEDC will change over time.

For help navigating the guidelines to reopen, businesses can contact WEDC at: (855) 469-4249.

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