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Chandler business reopens with certain safety measures, following governor's guidelines

Sibley's West
Posted at 4:36 PM, May 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-04 21:55:01-04

CHANDLER, AZ — Arizona retail stores started to re-open Monday after Governor Doug Ducey signed an executive order last week that allows certain businesses to open if they follow specific guidelines.

According to the executive order, "retail businesses can sell goods through delivery service, window service, walk-up service, drive-through service, drive-up service, curbside delivery or appointment provided they establish and implement sanitation and physical distancing measures."

Sibley's West in downtown Chandler opened its doors Monday after more than a month. The Arizona gifts and arts store carries items from more than 200 different Arizona businesses and artists.

Owner Michelle Wolfe said sales dropped 90 percent when they had to close the store.

"Because we missed our March and April, which are really important to our business. We usually tether our nest then and use those funds through the summer," she said. "When you're a small business owner, you know there's a risk. And you try to imagine all the different things that can happen and this is something nobody could've imagined."

But Wolfe was happy to see that Monday, people had already called to schedule appointments for the week. Until Thursday, the store will be open by appointment only. They also have curbside pickup for phone and online orders.

"Our vendors are starting to contact us, congratulating us that we're getting open and that they're looking forward to their orders," said Wolfe.

Kim and Scott Siket live nearby and made an appointment to get a shirt for their niece.

"It's been hard to find," said Kim Siket. "We've actually come by here three times since it's been closed just to see. I've looked online, but it's harder to tell what you're buying online."

By Friday, May 8, Gov. Ducey announced that retail stores can fully re-open with measures established by the Arizona Department of Health Services.

"First of all, all the team is wearing masks. When you enter the store, we will offer hand sanitizer and a mask if you don't have one. And then we are keeping our sales area sanitized, the pen sanitized, etc. between guests," said Wolfe.

Wolfe says they were lucky to get funding through the federal Paycheck Protection Program, a loan that will be forgiven if used for payroll. When they closed, they had to furlough eight employees.

"We're really excited to get everyone back," said Wolfe.

Read guidelines for businesses and shoppers here.