“It’s really safe down here and everyone is doing what they can to make sure that they have a safe and clean space for everyone,” explained Scott Spears, the owner of Socks and a handful of other Arvada businesses.
Spears’ shop is one of many that signed the pledge to follow all safety and sanitation guidelines set by the county and state, and to communicate what they’re doing with customers. Spears said when they reopened on May 9, business wasn’t booming like it used to.
“We absolutely rely on foot traffic and we weren’t even set up for online sales,” he told CBS4. “So we really need people walking around. As soon as the restaurants and bars open up it will definitely help us tremendously.”
Spears said he didn’t advertise the soft reopening very much, because he wanted to see what the turnout would look like first.
“You know, there’s a lot of people who are still scared and we totally understand that,” he explained. “We have things that you can do if you’re scared to come in like call us, and we’ll walk you through inventory to help you find what you are looking for.”
If you do feel comfortable going into the store, Spears said they are taking major safety protocols to help customers feel safe.
“We have a floor marked out, we have hand sanitizer for everybody,” he said. “We’re wiping everything down constantly. We’re asking people to wear masks, our employees are always wearing masks. We are limiting the number of people coming in.”
Down the street is the Electric Shop and Studios. Ally Skiba opened her boutique filled with gifts, clothes, art and vinyl records a few months before coronavirus hit.
“When the doors had to close, it was pretty chaotic trying to figure it out, but honestly I needed to work on different parts of business and make things a little bit better for me,” she told CBS4.
Skiba said when she was able to reopen her doors this past weekend, many former customers came by to shop.
“The customers that are coming in, they’re actually familiar faces for the most part,” she said. “So about 75% are returning customers that I had just met three months ago.”
Like Spears, her shop is part of Arvada’s “Safe and Open” campaign. Skiba said she’s asking all customers to abide by some guidelines she has posted on a chalkboard out front.
“I’ve been up and down, throughout the shop cleaning every day,” she said. “I do contactless payment, so no cash. I have two different sanitation stations.”
In April, the City of Arvada provided a Business Relief Fund of $2.5 million to help small businesses stay afloat. Spears said that was huge for business owners, and now they’re ready to see customers once again.
“We’re open and we’re ready for you to come on down,” Spears said.
See what stores have signed the pledge under the “Safe and Open” campaign.