New York City officially began its reopening Monday with phase one, which allows curbside and in-store pickup for retailers, along with construction, agriculture, manufacturing and wholesale trade.
The city estimates that about 3,700 manufacturing companies, 16,000 non-essential retail businesses and 23,000 construction sites will be allowed to reopen under the first phase, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The city needed to hit benchmarks provided by the state on hospital capacity, testing, infection rates and hospitalization rates before it was allowed to reopen. Officials from the city and state can shut businesses down again if any of those metrics begin to surge in the wrong direction.
Businesses must certify with the state that they can abide by safety regulations while they reopen. About 25,000 businesses in the city had done so by Thursday.
The city can move into phase two of reopening in as little as two weeks, provided everything goes well in the first phase. The second phase permits outdoor eating at restaurants and allows offices, hair salons and retail stores to reopen at 50 percent capacity.
Many retailers (and their landlords) are looking forward to phase two because it will allow in-store shopping to resume. Matt Bauer, president of the Madison Avenue Business Improvement District, told the Wall Street Journal that it is important for businesses to make sure customers enjoy their initial return.
“The first experience people have in this new environment walking back in, if it isn’t good, they might not be so apt to come back,” he said. [WSJ] — Eddie Small