Governor Andrew Cuomo has given the green light for select industries in the Rochester and Finger Lakes region to reopen for phase one of the state's coronavirus recovery plan.

“So for us, it is just one step forward in the direction we need to do in order to be able to survive, and to make sure our business thrive and so our staff can come back,” said Ellen Brenner-Boutillier, owner of Fleet Feet.

Starting on May 15, retail businesses that qualify under phase one to reopen are allowed to do delivery and curbside pick-up only. Fleet Feet in Rochester is planning to open in a limited manner - and store officials are taking precautions to ensure they are able to open fully one day.

Brenner-Boutillier said, “It’s not one of those things where we’ve become jubilant and excited yet, because we want to make sure we have everything right, everything in place, that we do things to the tee, follow all protocol that’s necessary.”

The Rochester locations of Fleet Feet will do virtual fittings, curbside pickup, and some will do delivery.

Bill Vendel, Owner of Welch’s Greenhouses said, “we’re happy they’re going to open up businesses and get us back to somewhat normal, have people out and doing some shopping.”

For Welch’s Greenhouses, the phase one reopening won't change business much, because it’s considered an essential agriculture business and got the okay to re-open just over a week ago. It has implemented a number of procedures people must follow to remain safe.

Laura Vendel, owner of Welch’s Greenhouses added, “We do ask and have it posted that everyone wear a mask when entering the building, we also have lines on the floor to allow them to have spacing when purchasing items, and we have plexiglass up so that will help as far as keeping people at a little bit of a distance.”

Overall, the owners of Welch’s Greenhouses feel the slow re-opening is a positive step for people and businesses.
“So I think this will be positive, I just hope people don’t rush too quickly and that they respect the rules put in place,” said Vendel.

Both businesses feel the reopening will help things feel somewhat normal, and help businesses recoup some of their losses from the past two months.

For a breakdown of the industries that can reopen during each phase, click here.