ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – This was the first day many retailers across the state reopened their doors for curbside service only. Businesses are welcoming the governor’s new order by slowly reopening and making sales again. Jordan Grateley of LaVon Blu Bath and Body in Nob Hill said he is ecstatic.
“Let’s just say that I would have done a backflip had I not already done a backflip off a trampoline and hurt myself,” Gateley said. “I am so glad we are to a point where we are actually able to start doing this.
He has been taking orders today handing off candles, bath bombs and more to customers on the curb. This comes after having to furlough employees and weeks of plunging sales.
“None of us small businesses are operating on a Fortune 500 budget, so yeah 80 percent of business lost is a little rough,” Gateley said.
While businesses like his are taking advantage of the curbside option, many remain shuttered.
“It is not a thing that you can flip the switch and be ready overnight,” Mike Canfield with the Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce said. Canfield said for many businesses, reopening is a challenge in itself.
“Starting up can sometimes be like starting a new business over again with new inventory, bringing on employees and making sure your employees are still available to come back,” Canfield said. “In many respects, it is like starting all over again, and it is costly to do that.”
While Gateley had just three customers today, he said it is better than nothing.
“It is literally three more than I expected,” Gateley said. “I am just glad we are able to start resuming business. I know it is a baby step, but I will take it.”
Gateley said he uses a mask and gloves for every order, and once retailers are allowed to let customers inside again, he said he only plans to let one person shop at a time.
Canfield said there is a higher expectation for businesses now when it comes to health and safety and expects many to adhere to new business models as they reopen to meet social distancing guidelines.