Alameda County officially moved into the yellow tier in the state's reopening system this week, meaning nearly every business can return to 50% indoor capacity.
From restaurants to toy stores, and even neighborhood swimming pools are able to further ease restrictions.
"I didn't see my daughter laugh and play as happily as she did that day at the pool," Alameda resident John Lin said. "And it's worth a lot."
Lin said he feels more free to get out now that nearly 70% of everyone in Alameda County is fully vaccinated.
"I think everybody is getting out," Lin said. "Restaurant reservations are hard to get, airline tickets are hard to get. Hotel reservations are hard to get."
And as things reopen, demand for everything seems to grow.
Lucky 13 Tattoos struggled during the pandemic and for more than a year things were desperate with no money coming in.
"We didn't know when we would have enough money to pay rent and pay the bills," said Oliver Ocampo with Lucky 13 Tattoos.
But business is back.
"Right now we're already getting more foot traffic right outside this door," Ocampo said Wednesday.
But some of Lucky 13's young tattoo artists and piercers are not coming back, deciding during the height of the pandemic to move away. And unfortunately , like restaurants, they are finding it tough to hire enough good people.
"Even pre-COVID it took over a year to find a piercer, and now I can't even put my energy into that because it's pretty frustrating," Ocampo said.
Costs have also gone way up in this business and others where hygiene is a must.
"Everything that I use that is medical grade, everything from our gloves...has tripled or quadrupled," Ocampo said.
Business owners are hoping to get over some of the hiring and purchasing hurdles soon with less than a week until the full statewide reopening.