ARCADE, N.Y. (WIVB) – Non-essential businesses in Erie County are not ready to begin re-opening, according to New York State. But some businesses nearby will do just that on Friday.
Phase one of re-opening will begin in the Finger Lakes region, which includes Orleans, Genesee, and Wyoming Counties. The Western New York region encompasses Erie, Niagara, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, and Allegany Counties, as far as the state is concerned. Each region of the state is eligible to begin phase one of re-opening only after they’ve met seven metrics set by the state.
Western New York has met four of the seven. The Finger Lakes region has met all seven.
Phase one includes construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, and agriculture. Retail stores will be allowed to open for curbside pickup.
One of the retail stores planning on being open for curbside pickup is Creekside Fabrics, Quilts, and Yarns in the Wyoming County Village of Arcade.
“We bag and tag. They pay for everything either with their credit card or PayPal,” explained owner Sandy Purdy.
Each bag is will be sprayed with Lysol, Purdy said. Then, it is placed in a box outside, ready to be picked up.
“People are excited that they get to re-open business,” said Scott Gardner, the President & CEO of the Wyoming County Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Promotion Agency. “On the other side of that, what does consumer confidence look like?”
Elected and commerce officials have been working with business owners on re-opening.
“They’re ready to adapt,” Gardner said. “They’re ready to move forward. They’re ready to get going. Just give them the guidelines and give them the information and they can adapt as they open back up.”
Those guidelines are now listed on the New York Forward website. State officials are asking business owners who plan to re-open to read them and affirm that they understand their obligation to follow them. Businesses will not be required to submit a plan for state approval, however.
At his daily coronavirus press briefing on Thursday, Governor Andrew Cuomo said local governments will be responsible making sure businesses are complying with the guidelines. But Jerry Davis, the chairman of the Wyoming County Board of Supervisors, said the county doesn’t have the resources to do random checks.
“We’ll answer complaints. But we don’t have manpower that’s going to go out and actually visit sites,” Davis said.
Chris Horvatits is an award-winning anchor and reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2017. See more of his work here.