Reopenings slow but showing positive signs

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – It’s been more than 100 days since the coronavirus first shut down businesses across the state. It’s been just 45 days since they’ve been able to slowly reopen and it has been a process but getting to 50 percent capacity this week has brought some encouraging signs.

“It’s just a challenge,” Greg Higgins says.

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During quarantine Magee’s Bakery was strictly curbside. Like so many businesses, baker and president greg higgins says it was a struggle.

“We weren’t sure of what people’s habits were. Everything changed. You didn’t know how many people were going to show up, if anybody was going to show up and because of business you kind of have a cycle. Most businesses have a cycle, they know when they’re going to be busy based on history but there is no history for this,” Greg Higgins said.

During cold weather, people aren’t out as much but when it’s warmer, outdoor seating is an attraction. The reopening came at a perfect time, tables are at an acceptable distance, X’s on the floor help people keep six feet apart, and there is outdoor seating.

“The overflow with the weather being nice is a huge help,” Greg Higgins said.

As people adapt to the new normal, Higgins says business is picking up.
He says the bakery was down 60% in revenue so now every customer helps.

“The rhythm of different events happening really drives out business. If there’s a football game in town, if keeneland’s open, if there’s something out of the horse park, horse sales, those things haven’t been happening so even though accounting for that lack of those events we’ve been doing very well in terms of customer count,” Greg Higgins said.

The struggle has been difficult, not just financially but also mentally, recognizing that, Higgins is giving his staff a break next week, paying them to be off.