DETROIT – Michigan Gov. Whitmer eased of some of the restrictions of the stay-at-home order Friday, which means nonessential businesses can reopen for curbside pickup and delivery only.
For small business owners trying to navigate the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that has brought the economy to a screeching halt, it’s a much needed boost.
“The economics of it are simple,” Rachel Lutz said. “The more you help small business the more directly those dollars go right back into your neighborhoods, right back into other businesses.”
Lutz owns several women’s clothing boutiques in Detroit, including the Peacock Room in the Fisher Building. She’s thrilled to now be able to open for curbside pickup.
While Lutz doesn’t expect to turn a profit, any positive cash flow right now is helpful.
She said translating the retail experience will be a challenge. Her stores are known for their ambiance, special items and customer service.
“The Peacock Room is known for personalized service, and that’s not going to change. We’re going to be doing virtual appointments as if you were in the store," she said. “A website is very difficult for a lot of us so we’re going to be starting with heavy social media.”
Lutz is hopeful and upbeat about Whimer’s decision to let businesses like hers begin operating again.
In addition to nonessential businesses reopening for curbside pickup, nurseries, lawn care, bike shops and landscaping operations can be reopened. Also, big-box retailers no longer have to close off garden centers and areas dedicated to selling paint, flooring and carpet.