Retail stores in Normal see positive foot traffic since re-opening

Local News

NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD) — Two and a half weeks ago retail stores in Normal were allowed to re-open their doors and store owners say they’ve gotten more support than expected.

The past two months have been tough on local business owners not being able to welcome customers because of COVID-19. But these last couple of weeks have been a breath of fresh air for many of them.

“Business has been awesome, we’ve been very supported we feel very blessed it’s been really good to see people out and moving around,” said Manager of Uptown Gifts and Accessories Lisa Hoffbauer.

“Lots of love, lots of love, and in fact we’re being very careful about how many people we can have in our store because it’s ten for every 1000 square feet, so we had to watch that at one point which was really great,” said Co-Owner of the Garlic Press, Sarah McManus.

Uptown Gifts and Accessories in Normal saying business is better now than it was before the pandemic began.

“People want to get out, people we’re tired of being cooped up and the weather is nice,” said Hoffbauer. “The other thing is we’ve gotten a lot of good comments about supporting small businesses because if we don’t get the support we can’t stay open.”

McManus at the Garlic Press says a recent store-wide sale had her feeling like they’re getting back to normal. Adding that she has newfound energy seeing customers once again roaming her store.

“It really gave us an infusion both to our financial state, we can actually pay a light bill, but also to our emotional state, everyone was doing really well and everyone was really good and wore their masks,” said McManus.

Both shops in Uptown Normal look forward to continued success in the future and are excited to welcome even more customers once Illinois enters phase four of Governor J.B. Pritzker’s reopening plan.

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