Chewelah businesses adapting to new guidelines in phase 2
CHEWELAH, Wash. — It’s been about one week since Stevens County received the OK to move to phase two. Businesses all over are trying to adapt to the new guidelines in the second stage of the Safe Start plan. The same could be said for the customers who haven’t been inside a retail store, restaurant or salon in almost two months.
In 3’s Company Hair Design, it’s a sight many haven’t seen in nearly two months: People getting their hair cut and styled.
“We only opened yesterday. It has been crazy. We’ve had a lot of calls from Spokane that we apologize, we are not taking clients from Spokane because they are not our clients,” said co-owner Wendy Regan.
Regan and her sister Vickie Manus have gone through a lot in the last few weeks. They say they had to move out of their previous location. They found a new one, but it was smaller so they had to cut staff. They’re also trying to adjust to strict safety guidelines.
“We have our clients wearing a face mask we have to take their temperature,” Regan listed. “We have to disinfect our stations in between each client and use a single use cape for each client.”
Disinfecting and cleaning up between each client takes about 10 minutes, time they could’ve spent helping someone else.
“We don’t mind all the new sanitation requirements. They’re probably good,” Manus said.
Meanwhile, just mere minutes down the road, Monica’s Buttermilk Kitchen was a little slow Thursday compared to other days.
“The first day I maybe had 12 people eat inside all day in 8 hours,” said Owner Monica Anderson about reopening day. “But, by the weekend, we were doing pretty good.”
She said the restaurant lost about 80 percent of regular businesses when they were only doing to-go.
“We were able to just pay the rent for here and the city bill and one employee. I had to lay off others,” she said.
On top of a slow dine-in start, they’re facing another hurdle.
“The cost of eggs has just been outrageous. We’re having a hard time finding bacon, just supplies in general. We can’t get deliveries up here,” she said.
Opening the restaurant at half capacity may be tough, especially when the restaurant has only a 36 person capacity. Anderson said opening up with all these guidelines is still worth it.
Having her own restaurant has been a dream for so long, so she’ll continue to fight to make it work.
“At first I was like ‘Oh, no. I’m not going to have anything left.’ It’s just the support of the community came together and just changes your mind on things,” she told 4 News Now.
While Stevens County is in phase two, moving to phase three is unknown at this time. Gov. Inslee did previously say that each phase should last about three weeks. Guidance for phase three is still being developed at this time.