Businesses in Miami-Dade, Broward counties get ready for Phase 1
Your favorite salon, that yummy pizza shop, and the neighborhood clothing store, shops and restaurants are preparing to get back to business after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis gave the green light Thursday for Miami-Dade and Broward counties to begin Phase 1. They all could be opening on Monday, May 18.
Some cities within Miami-Dade County, like Miami and Miami Beach, are waiting and plan to open sectors of their economies several days later. But, as of now, all retailers, when they do come back, can do so at 50 percent capacity, while hair and nail salons can welcome only 25 percent of their capacity.
While the rest of the state is allowing restaurants to be 25 percent full, Miami-Dade's mayor wants to double that and so do many owners.
“It is the difference between supporting oneself long term or not,” said Patrick More of Centurion Restaurant Group.
Dana Lulic of Tomato and Basil in North Miami is painting and figuring how to space out tables for distancing. “We plan to be ready by next week,” Lulic said.
Toni Lockhart of Salon Dahlia spent Thursday checking inventory and assembling face shields. “We’ll be disinfecting more, leaving more space between clients and we won’t double book.”
And, only in South Florida, pink-flamingo clad workers from Flamingo Paper based in Hialeah are donating napkins to their clients “Just to help out a little bit because we know any extra cost is hard to manage during these times,” said Daniela Longo of Flamingo Paper.
The question is, though, when these stores and restaurants open, even with very strict guidelines, will people feel comfortable enough to go?
Lulic is hopeful. “We’re gonna survive and get back to normal soon,” she said.
In Broward County, Christie Bellino of Big Time Restaurant Group was busy getting their restaurants ready. While diners can sit inside and out, Bellino said: “We won’t have the bar open for guests to sit.” That isn’t allowed.
At El Camino, managers are working on installing plexiglass for customers sitting at their booths inside. They will serve as a barrier between tables.
Branmam Cohn, manager at El Camino, said diners will feel like they are sitting in their own pod. "They will feel safe."
Broward County is allowing for gyms to open in apartment buildings and condominiums and places where there are homeowner associations. That is something that Miami-Dade County is not doing.
No beaches will open yet, at least until May 26. Both counties said they are going to all open at one time, together as a region.
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