Businesses Begin to Reopen

by James McNary, Articles Editor

A number of area businesses took advantage of the relaxing of restrictions from the COVID-19 epidemic by reopening to the public, while still operating within restrictions set by state and local authorities. To get a glimpse of things, here’s a look at a few businesses on Main Street in Lockwood.

After being shutdown for the entire stay-at-home period, Tracy Lasater at Hairworks said that demand for her shop’s services has been strong: they’re now booked up for weeks.

“Things are going good, and I’m glad I get to see everybody again,” said Lasater.

In her 31 years of running her shop, she said she’s never seen anything quite like the COVID-19 situation, and things like wearing a mask while cutting a client’s hair are taking some getting used to.

“There’s been some transition for us, but we want to keep everybody healthy,” said Lasater. “We’re all just getting used to our new normal.”

Lasater also said that she hasn’t really had to fix really bad home haircuts, yet.

Just down the street, Lockwood True Value was among the businesses deemed to be essential, so it didn’t shut down during the stay-at-home orders. However, store manager Bryan Scott said that the store also had to adapt to the situation.

“We have seen an uptick in business, coming from lots of home improvement projects,” said Scott. “Anything that folks can do while they’re stuck at home.”

Among the things the store began doing was offering some curbside service for individuals concerned about coming into the store. Scott said that they would call ahead and make arrangements to pay for and then pick up their items out front of the store.

“We didn’t really see a drop-off in business due to being essential, but we had to adapt in different ways,” said Scott.

With restrictions now easing, Scott said he is starting to see a few of the individuals more at risk from COVID-19 began to venture out.

Next door at Rader’s Store, Janet Mareth said the store has been busy this week.

Mareth said that even though the store could have made a case to stay open as an essential business, the staff opted to go ahead and close down for the duration of the stay-at-home orders – however they did fill some curbside orders for those making masks.

“There are a lot of people out there still making masks,” said Mareth. “We’ve had to order more elastic to keep them supplied.”

Since reopening, Mareth said that other than mask materials, nothing out of the ordinary has been in unusually high demand, even after people had been stuck at home.

“It’s just kind of getting back to normal, really,” said Mareth.