The signs are up, and curbside delivery is now open as retailers in Santa Clara County prepare for the lifeline they’ve been waiting for with Phase 2 of the state's reopening plan during the coronavirus crisis.
San Jose boutique owner Vicky Malvini said the shelter-in-place order forced her team to get creative fast.
“It pushed us to do online sooner, which we do, but there are a lot of vendors that are closed, so we can’t get the merchandise we ordered,” said Malvini, who is co-owner of Bella James Boutique. “So our store is not the store we planned to have for spring.”
Right now, sales are down 86%, and she’s keeping her business and employees afloat through a federal paycheck protection loan, she said.
Some merchants believe the word hasn't gotten out to everyone. They're open but few people are coming.
"We took the closed sign off the door. Its good news for us," said Frank Bejan from Mariette Chocolates. "[But] today hasn’t been any different than when the whole thing started two months ago. It’s still the same. Street is empty. People are scared to come out.”
Some are hoping the digital world will drum up some real word business.
"Silicon Valley workers are staying home so they might not participate and mom have kids at home I don’t know what they’re going to come out or not so it’s very unpredictable," said Jing Chen from Therapy Stores Inc.
Santa Clara County is the last Bay Area county to enter Phase 2, but Public Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody said the curve finally flattening, with hospitalizations and ICU cases trending down and testing ramping up.