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Phase 1 for reopening Western New York businesses: Progress or dud?

Of the businesses that are now allowed to reopen, depending on how they actually do business will determine the impact of Phase One.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Of the businesses that are now allowed to reopen, depending on how they do business will determine whether Tuesday is a step in the right direction or if it's a dud.

According to the state's Phase One reopening plan, construction, agriculture, retail (limited to curbside or in-store pickup or drop off), manufacturing and wholesale trade are eligible industries to reopen under specific guidelines.

With regard to retailers, a lot of the big box stores have been open during the pandemic, so this change really is affecting smaller retailers such as clothing stores, gift stores and shoe stores.

2 On Your Side spoke via Zoom with Danielle Webb, the owner of Allen Street Dress Shop in Buffalo, who also owns a dress store in East Aurora. The pandemic has forced her to create a website and do limited delivery.

Both her stores, as of Tuesday, are doing curbside pickup and Webb doesn't think customers will rush back.

"I think it's going to be slower definitely we will not have our normal June business we don't have Allentown this year which that's big," Webb said.

Webb told 2 On Your Side she's in the process of putting up vintage windows at the checkout counter. 

The state has issued mandatory and recommended guidelines along the lines of social distancing, personal protective equipment such as masks and gloves and cleaning. 

Tara Gift Shoppe in South Buffalo announced on its Facebook page earlier Tuesday that it is now taking curbside and pickup orders. 

Scherer Furniture in Buffalo, which also falls into Phase 1, told us that they won't be doing any curbside pickup of furniture because customers actually want to see what they're buying.

As for local manufacturers, which also fall into Phase 1, we called more than a dozen local manufacturing companies and all of them said that they have been deemed essential and have been operating amid the pandemic. 

Bonfire Craft on Hertel Avenue in Buffalo says that is will now look into doing curbside pickup for regular customers who are more familiar with the store's selection. 

And Hibbett Sports on Elmwood Ave in Buffalo says it has started to do curbside pickup beginning on Tuesday. 

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