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'Doing This Slowly And Safely': Pittsburgh Small Businesses Eager To Start Opening 'Responsibly' Next Friday

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - Henne Jewelers in Shadyside is usually packed before Mother's Day weekend, but this year it sat empty with no jewelry in the showroom. Owner John Henne had hoped we were going to be in yellow already.

"I fully expected we were going to be open today," he told KDKA just before the governor made his announcement on Friday.

One week later and now the governor has put Allegheny and several surrounding counties in the yellow phase. It gives Henne's store the chance to welcome customers inside for the first time in weeks.

"The sooner we get to open, and open responsibly, the better it's going to be for business," he said.

He saw sales drop by more than 70 percent in April, and he wasn't alone. Alon Bendas owns Schorin Company which sells party supplies. He saw demands go down while they lived off of curbside pickup and hopes foot traffic gives him a boost.

"We're excited about getting back to the prospect of getting closer to what we were at before this all started," he said outside his Strip District business.


Now with businesses opening back up, safety measures will be in place. Some stores are putting out sneeze guards and hand sanitizing stations. Kards Unlimited on Walnut Street will have one way aisles to limit contact in their tight space.

"We're just going to learn everyday of how to manage this and how to adapt," Amanda Blair said.

So it still may take some time to get all the way back to normal, but for now this is a start.

"Doing this slowly and safely is much safer for small businesses," Blair said.

"Just that alone will be really helpful for business," Bendas said.

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