CLEVELAND (WJW) — Starting May 12, retail stores across Ohio will be allowed to welcome customers back into their businesses.
But on Friday, Governor Mike DeWine announced that effective immediately, some of those retailers can get a head start on reopening.
“We’re ready, we want to be safe, but we’re ready,” said Joe Soukenik, owner of Charles Rivchun and Sons jewelers in downtown Cleveland.
He says his staff is eager to see customers again, face to face.
“They text in or call in or email and say ‘hey we heard about you guys, we’re in California, can you make our rings?” explained Soukenik
The store shut down in March, as non-essential businesses in Ohio were ordered to close, to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Soukenik says the company had to rely on its 103-year-old reputation and word of mouth to stay in operation.
“It’s kinda cool, ’cause we get like pictures of them from Instagram or Facebook and we can judge within about a half a size usually and then we know to make the pitch of the ring,” he said.
Earlier this week, Governor Mike DeWine announced that Ohio retailers could reopen May 12 if they followed certain health restrictions, such as limiting capacity and requiring employees to wear masks.
Friday, DeWine said companies can immediately allow a few customers inside by appointment only or by offering curbside service, if possible.
Governor DeWine said he made the accommodation after receiving numerous requests from retailers across the state. He says his main concern is the safety of employees and customers.
“Masks are mandatory. I have my Browns bandana, kept it washed and rotated for six weeks,” said the owner.
The jewelry store, located on the fifth floor of an office building at East 9th and Euclid, has already started advertising appointments on its website.
“We would schedule no more than two per hour from 10:00 until 3:00. The building’s secure, the building’s locked, so they have to be, they have to enter via security, there’s no more than typically five to eight people with those appointments at any given time,” said Soukenik
He says he eager to restock the display cases and welcome customers back inside.
“We really want to keep safety first,” Soukenik said.