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Welcome Back!

As we enter Phase 3, there is light at the end of the tunnel; however, Ellicottville businesses ask the public to practice patience, respect, and follow the rules
Sean Lowes, owner of The City Garage, opens his doors to customers
photo/Brenda Perks

Ellicottville is built on community and small business, and midway through March 2020, we were all forced to close our doors due to a deadly virus that has literally attacked humans around the world. There was so much uncertainty and confusion in the early stages of this shutdown, but many of us took it as an opportunity to breathe and slow down for a moment.  However, that moment has now turned into 3 months, and some of our small businesses are in real danger of shutting down for good.

As we enter into Phase 3 of re-opening, we see a light at the end of the tunnel. But with that light comes a new reality, one with masks and hand sanitizer, temperature checks and social distancing.  Our new reality still has a lot of holes, and each of us small business owners has been busy doing their homework to figure out ways to keep our clients and customers safe and satisfied.  For example, Sean Lowes, owner of The City Garage, explained that in his store, there is less merchandise to touch on display, and when it comes to trying on clothes, they may need to take an unpurchased garment out of rotation for a period of time. Dina Dipasquale, owner of Dina’s Restaurant, stated that all of her employees will be regularly monitored with temperature checks and will be required to wear masks at all times.  For me, owner of Core Performance Fitness and Training, the challenge is in the social distancing.  Not only for personal training but for group fitness classes as well.  The 6 feet rule is not appropriate in a fitness setting due to the nature of the activity.  Instead, 10-15 feet is recommended due to the droplets exerted during strenuous exercise.

Then there is the real challenge - the folks who do not want to comply with these rules. Those who are not going to wear a mask in the stores and who refuse to social distance.  People who want to get ‘back to normal’ and are not taking this virus or the risks it imposes to the employees seriously.  It’s a tough situation for our business owners. “Do you want the sale, or do you want the person to leave angry?” was the concern from one Ellicottville merchant I spoke to.

So, as Ellicottville slowly opens up and all business owners fill out the required paperwork and comply with the required precautions, we only ask one thing from our customers and clients: Please be a good human being. This means respect each other, be kind to each other, clean up after yourselves and follow the rules that have been put in place for your safety as well as the employees’ safety.  This journey has been a long one for our small community, and it seems that there is an uncertain future that lies ahead of us.  As we struggle to get back on our feet, we ask for your patience.  This is a new world for everyone involved.