Businesses struggling with returning to ‘normal’ as state rolls out reopening plan

BOSTON — Reopening Massachusetts will be a slow and steady process.

Some businesses, like construction and manufacturing were allowed to start on Monday. But, it won’t be business as usual.

John Marchio converted his hair product manufacturing business called Hairo to make hand sanitizer for the pandemic. But, building that business back to normal will take time.

“This is tough, it’s a real bad virus that affected the whole Commonwealth, the whole country, the whole world," said Marchio. "As the orders come in online we just send them out as needed, really.”

Marchio, his brother and cousin also own a salon on Newbury Street in Boston. They can’t reopen until next week on May 25th.

“I know they say we are non-essential but for me it’s essential. It’s my livelihood," said Marchio.

And he’s not alone. 12 miles south in Braintree, Lyn Hart got word she can reopen her CBD store on May 25th, though she was hoping it would be Monday.

“Obviously, it’s extremely disappointing," said Hart.

State guidelines say Hart will only be able to do business curbside. She was doing that briefly before closing down and says it worked well.

"Customers order in advance and then drive up,” said Hart.

They can be seen thru the window. When they arrive, their order is delivered curbside.

“Actually it’s a great set-up for the store,” said Hart.

But even though the state gave her the green light for May 25th, Hart says the town of Braintree has the final say.

“It’s really going to be up to what they decide to do," said Hart.

Business owners are excited to get back to work in what will be a brave new world.

“We are relieved, really," said Marchio. "We have thousands of clients who are patiently waiting for us to open.”

But even though he’s back in business, Marchio says sales could be off by up to 50% due to social distancing guidelines. Marchio has been in business for 17 years and feels he can ride it out.

However, some new business owners say it may already be too late for them.

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