As the state reaches Day 66 of the Governor’s Stay Home Stay Health order, there’s a ray of hope for retailers whose doors have been closed in efforts to slow the coronavirus pandemic.
As of Wednesday, state officials allowed retailers located in 24 of Washington’s 39 counties to move to Phase 2 of Governor Jay Inslee’s four-phase Safe Start plan to safely reopen the economy. The most recent additions include Thurston, Kittitas and Walla Walla counties. Several of Washington’s hardest hit counties are still waiting to hear when they will be allowed to move beyond the first phase, as the Governor’s order inches closer to June 1.
Phase 2 is an important next step allowing limited in-store access requiring stores to maintain 30% of maximum capacity. As consumer demand grows these are small but important steps in rebuilding the confidence of shoppers and the economic health of stores, large and small, across the state.
Washington Retail President and CEO Renée Sunde participated in an interview this week with TVW regarding the impact of COVID-19 on retailers. Host Mike McClanahan and Sunde covered a lot of ground including what changes shoppers can expect in some of the stores that have been closed the past couple months.