HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - All businesses were allowed to reopen Monday while following guidelines put in place by Gov. Tate Reeves’ executive order.
In Hattiesburg, masks are still required to be worn by the workers and customers. Social distancing should also be practiced as well.
“I’m thankful that there were small businesses that were able to survive this,” said Matthew Senge, owner of The Humidor in Hattiesburg. “I’m disheartened and disgusted by the way this was handled. We have businesses that will never be able to open again.”
COVID-19 shut down many businesses across the country. Senge explained how he took care of his workers.
“I have four employees here. I didn’t take a salary for two months to make sure they got paid,” Senge said. “My GM, he is irreplaceable, but he’s got a family, he’s got to take care of them. There’s nothing more humiliating than being the provider of the family and not being able to provide.”
Now with the reopen, Senge said the business can only go up from here.
“The momentum that we had built over January and February was phenomenal and the response that we got from the city phenomenal, but that’s all gone,” Senge said. “We’ll never get that back, so all we can do is strive to do our best to make people feel comfortable and make them feel at home like they always are.”
Close by, Cycle Bar also reopened Monday. Manager Sarah Schraeder discussed the future for the riders.
“We do have a limited or modified class time,” Schraeder said. “They are 30 minutes right now, just to get everybody re-acclimated to the experience number one and to be sure that we can provide the right flow, that right rhythm of the cleanliness pre, post, during class within the facility. We are more than thankful and grateful that we were able to come back to the community. So much anticipation and excitement, nerves for everybody involved. We’ve had two classes so far today and I don’t think they could have gone any better.”