MARYLAND – Governor Larry Hogan’s order for all non-essential businesses to shutdown went into effect at 5 p.m. yesterday.
Before that happened, 47 ABC spoke with a few local business owners about what their steps moving forward will be. Local business owners tell 47 ABC that the order to shut down didn’t come as a surprise, but they had to act quickly to tie up loose ends before the order went into place. “We just have to smile and roll with the punches and do what we can,” said Maria Demetriou of Downtown Bridal in Salisbury.
Salisbury officials say the city is following the governor’s order and will charge any business owners who don’t comply. “What businesses should know is if they’re in direct violation of the governor’s order, they will be shut down. They will have their doors closed,” said Mayor Jake Day.
Downtown Bridal tells 47 ABC they weren’t shocked to hear the governor’s order, but are now trying to figure out their next steps. The shop says it’s one of their busy seasons, and doing something as personal as fitting a wedding dress simply can’t be done over the phone or online. “Unfortunately there’s nothing we can truly do over the phone with people other than reassure them and reschedule,” said Demetriou.
Full time employees at Downtown Bridal say they’ll be busy promoting the shop over social media while the doors are shut. Right now the focus of the team is to make sure customers know appointments are simply being put on hold, and not cancelled completely. They also say the shop is already receiving support from loyal customers. “We just had someone call and say ‘Hey I have have the money today to pay off my layaway. Will that help you guys?’ and what a blessing,” said Demetriou.
As small business owners prepare to shut off the lights and leave their doors locked, Mayor Day says it’s important to remember that the order to stop business is all about safety. said Mayor Day.
Downtown Bridal says while they wish they had more time to contact clients, they’re more than willing to do their part to keep people safe and healthy. The shop says as soon as the order is lifted, they plan to reopen their doors and get back to business.
Under Governor Hogan’s order essential businesses are allowed to remain open. Those include food service, hotels, public works, agriculture, and transportation. For a complete list of those businesses you can visit the governor’s website.