Weiser businesses reopen as restrictions ease

By: 
Steve Lyon

Some Weiser businesses reopened last week as the governor’s stay-home order to slow the spread of coronavirus was replaced by the “Stay Healthy Order” and a multi-stage plan to gradually reopen the state over the next two months.
 CaseyGirl Designs owner Casey Hopkins opened the retail portion of her business on May 1. It’s not the busiest time of year, but she had a couple of visitors in the home furnishings and decor shop on State Street in downtown Weiser.
 The upholstery side of the business was considered essential and stayed open by appointment, she said.
 She moved some displays around to provide more room for customers to browse prior to reopening. There is also more space between the counter and customers. The store hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
 Just a couple of doors down, members of the morning coffee crowd were sipping coffee while practicing social-distancing out in front of Pepper’s.
 The popular downtown coffee shop continues to serve lattes to go while the indoor seating is closed for now.
 According to the governor’s plan, 90 percent of businesses were allowed to reopen on May 1, more than a month after a statewide order directed non-essential businesses to close.
 The list of businesses that can reopen include retail stores, churches, daycares and organized youth activities as long as they follow protocols, which include physical distancing, sanitation, and other safety measures.
 The Weiser Subway restaurant opened for takeout on May 1 after it voluntarily closed for a month as a coronavirus precaution. Dine-in won’t happen until the next stage in the Idaho Rebounds plan for reopening businesses.
 Restaurant operators should develop plans to reopen for dine-in starting on May 16 when stage two of the state reopening schedule starts.  
 The Weiser Chamber of Commerce last week emailed out forms provided by Southwest District Health that restaurants must fill out to comply with protocols.
 The WICAP thrift store in downtown Weiser doesn’t have plans to open yet, coordinator Steve Morningstar said. Although retail was allowed to open in stage one, he has not received instructions from WICAP officials on when to proceed with a store reopening.
 Mayor Randy Hibberd said the city will do its part to follow the stages during the business reopening and will monitor what is going on in town.  
 As they reopen, businesses like dine-in restaurants will need to follow the protocols that have been developed.
“It is the governor’s orders and we have to follow that,” he said.
 Gov. Brad Little said Idaho will follow a data-driven approach to opening up Idaho’s economy.   
 The approach reduces the risk of COVID-19 to Idaho’s most vulnerable population and preserves capacity in our healthcare system, while opening up businesses safely, according to a statement.
 From an economic standpoint, Idaho’s rebound from COVID-19 starts with employee and consumer confidence, which leads into business stability and growth and eventually promotion and attraction.
 For businesses that have been economically, impacted by the recently expired stay-home order,  Little announced a plan to distribute $300 million in Idaho Rebound cash grants as the state enters stage one of reopening.
 Cash grants of up to $10,000 will be available to small businesses. Businesses will be eligible if they have not already received an SBA-backed Payroll Protection loan or received less than $10,000 in a loan.
 The criteria and process to apply for grants was released on Tuesday.

Signal American

18 E. Idaho St.
Weiser, ID 83672
PH: (208) 549-1717
FAX: (208) 549-1718
 

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