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Picture perfect weekend on the coast; Some national retailers yet to reopen

Alabama is 11 days away from the expiration of Governor Kay Ivey’s “Safer at Home” order.

The first full weekend under Ivey’s new public health order was welcomed by many businesses granted the freedom to reopen.

Some did, some didn’t. At the Shoppes at Eastchase in Montgomery, it was reported that locally-owned stores began to reopen while several of the national chains did not. This has been a common theme in other reopening states around the country. Stores with out-of-state corporate management, many of whom are based out of New York, have yet to give the green light to its locations. This could reflect a growing disconnect between the perception of those in large, cold weather metropolitan areas and the reality in states like Alabama. For those who adhere to the “shop local” approach, now is their time.

One of those people is apparently State Rep. Danny Garrett (R-Trussville) who patronized local shops and found all the safety measures you would hope to see.

Fun in the sun. Alabama’s beaches opened, and the weekend proved to be a huge success on the coast. Baldwin County’s beaches are the largest source of tourism dollars for the state, so their reopening could not have waited much longer without long-lasting damage to the economy. As it stands, state officials are predicting a $3 billion loss in tourism revenue for 2020.

Representing their constituencies. Calls for further easing of restrictions continue to roll in from around the state. On Sunday, State Rep. Wes Allen (R-Troy) posted to social media his thoughts on reopening, saying, “it’s time to allow our barbers and our salons and our churches to be able to reopen immediately.”

The City of Fairhope adopted a resolution requesting Governor Ivey adopt the recommendations in Lt. Governor Will Ainsworth’s 150-page report on reopening.

State Rep. Will Dismukes (R-Prattville) weighed in last week with his thoughts on a full reopening of Alabama’s economy, stating, “We’ve made the working men and women of Alabama suffer for far too long.”

Tim Howe is an owner of Yellowhammer Multimedia

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