Edenton shop owners open doors, follow Governor's safety guidelines

Posted at 3:42 PM, May 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-09 18:51:38-04

EDENTON, N.C., - Tucked away in the quaint town of Edenton, you'll find Donna Mclees. For the past 20 years, she's operated a business in the community, for the community.

Putting her heart and soul into creating the Shoppes on Broad, you can imagine temporarily closing her doors has been tough.

"We've missed our friends, our neighbors and our clients," she says.

On Saturday Mclees was able to open her doors and say "welcome back" for the first time in weeks. Phase One of Governor Roy Cooper's plan to reopen the state went into effect this week.

It allows some non-essential businesses, like retail, to re-open but with certain restrictions.

In a press conference on Friday he said, "we must all get used to the 3 w's: wearing a face covering, waiting 6 feet apart from one another and washing our hands frequently."

Mclees says she'll follow the guidelines because her customers safety is a top priority, "we are certainly going to be cognizant of what the Governor has said and follow those guidelines to ensure that all of our customers are safe."

Per the state's orders, the Shoppes on Broad will have to operate at 50% capacity, which Mclees says will be four people.

Down the street, the owners of the Venue at Water Street are already hitting the ground running and using the restrictions to their advantage.

"Long term goals is to get us back up and running the way we were or the way we were starting to become. We were just revving up our business and then COVID said nope, you need to stop. I will stop you right there. So I need people to come and visit us and visit the town of Edenton, you will fall in love with it," they said.

For some, these folks are more than just business owners.

Resident Lori Dablow told News 3, "the people that own the shops here, they live next door they live in the neighborhood, you see them out walking, you talk with them about their businesses and their family and their abilities to feed their families. So when you see this happening, you just rejoice."

She said the relaxed restrictions going into play on Mother's Day weekend is even more special, making up for lost money and time.

"If I can buy something at a shop just to say, you know we love you and we support you I'll do that today," Dablow said.