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Retail, construction companies prepare for June 8 reopening; restaurants await their turn

Posted at 6:59 PM, Jun 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-05 18:59:07-04

New York City opens for business on Monday, June 8 — the beginning of Phase 1 of regional reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Stephanie Goldstein, the owner of Stoopher and Boots, an Upper West Side shop said, her store has been online since the shutdown began

"We really just need to get the word out that people can do curbside pick up.," she said.

Goldstein and thousands of other business owners will now be able to open their brick and mortar stores for curbside and in-store pickup.

"Getting people back their livelihood. That's what Phase 1 is about. Getting New York City back on its path to being strong again, to our economy being strong, to our people having what they need," Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday.

Shops that were hit by looters over the past few days will have a longer road to recovery.

In addition to retail, agriculture, manufacturing and wholesale trade can start up again Monday.

According to New York City officials, 32,000 construction sites will reopen.

"That means a lot of New Yorkers will come back to work. But it has to be safe. It has to be healthy," the mayor said.

Gary LaBarbera, the president of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York, said Friday updated health and safety protocols, "... will now protect all workers as they begin to return to work. Construction is the engine that has pushed our economy through challenging moments in the past, and we’re confident that construction will yet again be the stimulus that puts New York back to work.”

The Department of Buildings is expected to inspect construction sites to make sure there is social distancing and proper face coverings and supplies.

According to the de Blasio administration, the DOB will monitor the sites for 30 days to make sure there is compliance. After 30 days, there will be fines.

And as Phase 1 industries are days away from reopening, the restaurant industry is gearing up for outdoor dining. That is part of Phase 2.

Robert Guarino, CEO of Five Napkin Burger said he is already mapping out how the restaurants will set up outdoor seating.

"We are really excited to get back at it, get started and bring some normalcy to our neighborhoods," he said. "First and foremost, we want the guests and the employees all to be safe, and we are really focused on how we can make sure to control that."

Phase 2, which includes outdoor dining, could begin as early as June 22, although de Blasio said it may not happen until early July.

It is expected restaurants will be allowed to put out additional curbside and sidewalk seating. Some New York City streets could even be closed for restaurant seating.