After almost a month of business closures due to the coronavirus pandemic, some Texas retail stores will reopen April 24 under certain restrictions.
On April 17, Governor Greg Abbott announced a retail-to-go model that allows non-essential retail stores to sell products online, curbside, and by home delivery. It is one recent step toward reopening the state for business.
For Marble Falls business leaders, it’s a step in the right direction.
“I hope it offers encouragement to everyone,” said Jarrod Metzgar, executive director of the Marble Falls/Lake LJB Chamber of Commerce. “I know a lot of businesses and people have really suffered, shut down altogether. Hopefully, they’ll take advantage of this.”
Local economies have taken a hard hit since stay-at-home orders went into effect to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, which causes the respiratory disease COVID-19.
“We’ve had some businesses that have made some adjustments already,” said Christian Fletcher, executive director of the Marble Falls Economic Corporation. “I know retail to go is one more step to get everyone back to business, and it’s something we welcome.”
Highland Lakes restaurants have adapted to takeout-and-delivery-only service after Abbott ordered dining rooms closed. During a recent stop at a Marble Falls eatery, Metzgar asked the owner how things were going. “Pretty good” was the answer.
Metzgar said the key, whether for restaurants or retail, is that residents support local businesses.
“As a chamber, we want to see commerce,” he said.
During his April 17 media conference, Abbott also announced the creation of the Strike Force to Open Texas. The group is made up of elected officials, business leaders, and medical experts and charged with examining safe ways to restart the Texas economy. It reports back to the governor.
Abbott is scheduled to announce an updated plan to ease stay-at-home restrictions on Monday, April 27.
For more on how COVID-19 is affecting the Highland Lakes, visit the DailyTrib.com coronavirus resource webpage.