Governor Gavin Newsom has given the green light for some businesses to reopen with some new rules starting Friday, but most Bay Area counties say they’re not ready and blocked businesses from reopening.
It’s likely another 10 days before some stores in San Francisco might be able to offer storefront pickup. Retailers are making plans with social distancing in mind, while customers try to navigate rules that can change from county to county.
“As long as we’re allowed to, we will start curbside pickup on the 18,” said Pete Mulvihill, co-owner of Green Apple Books and Music. They’ve been limited to online sales with the shelter-at-home order in place.
“There is a lot of confusion,” said Mulvihill. “People think we should be doing curbside now or that we can.”
He’s following San Francisco regulations, the city and five other counties didn’t loosen restrictions yet. It sounds like May 18 could be the target date for those taking it slow.
“The May 18 date makes sense because for a lot of these small businesses there is a lot of infrastructure to set up to set up a successful storefront and curbside pick up,” said Jay Cheng with the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce. “How are customers going to make payments, how are customers going to make orders?”
The owner of Tantrum Toys Sales has shifted to all online sales during the pandemic, they say they want to be cautious with storefront pickup.
“We wouldn’t be opposed to it. We can do it ourselves, we don’t have to put our staff at risk provided we also are following the numbers of the medical professionals,” said Richard Weld from Tantrum.
Back at Green Apple, they’re making plans for a new normal as well with safety and social distancing in mind.
“As long as we’re allowed to, we will start curbside on the 18 at all three stores that will allow us to fulfill customer demand more quickly,” said Mulvihill.
Next week, San Francisco says it expects to release its guidelines for the next round of reopening.