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South Miami Mayor Sally Philips Wants To Make Sure Reopening Isn't 'Putting People In Jeopardy'

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – South Florida leaders are preparing for a phase one opening, and so are restaurants.

Shannon Allen and her husband, former NBA player Ray Allen, own "Grown" organic fast food restaurant near South Miami.

"The reason why I started Grown and wanted to reinvent fast food in the first place is because my middle child, Walker, has Type 1 diabetes, which is a very serious auto-immune condition. He is my why," Shannon Allen said.

As a mother and business owner, health and safety are top priorities. Her restaurant was undergoing its daily deep cleaning while she talked to CBS4's Ty Russell.

With Miami-Dade and Broward targeting May 18th to allow restaurants to loosen restrictions, Allen says she will wait.

"I've decided not to open up our dining room and the outdoor seating just yet," Allen said.

South Miami Mayor Sally Philips is also hesitant on reopening. She wants to lean on other leaders, doctors and scientists to help decide if Monday is doable and what's needed to avoid a spike in cases.

"Even if that means staying closed for another week, or another month I need to know and I want to be sure that I'm not putting people in jeopardy," the mayor said.

Mayor Philips and other city leaders are considering closing streets to allow for more outside open seating since many businesses are already small in size, if there's a 25% capacity limit indoors. If the city gets money from the Feds for coronavirus relief, they may help owners with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

"I will be willing to use some of that money to help out businesses. I assume that will be an appropriate use of it," the mayor said.

The mayor is also trying to get rapid tests to test people like clerks and servers regularly.

Hospitality Attorney Robert Lewis encourages owners, especially those who's the struggling, to be creative to stay open. Especially if businesses are only allowed up to 25% capacity indoors for a while.

"There's a lot of uncertainty there. But again, I think it's about embracing the challenge, and moving forward for the industry as a whole," Lewis with Spiritus Law said.

For Allen, who has kept all employees on board and continues to donate food to hospitals, she plans to stay open and positive during this uncertain time.

"We will continue to operate with drive thru, at-home delivery, pick-up and take out, which is really our main standing anyway. It's about 40% of our business daily," Allen said.

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez admits cases have increased but hospital stays are down. Once there's an order, cities like south Miami are allowed to be stricter than a county order.

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