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News of Otsego County

Phase 2

Phase 2 Opens Main Street Shops

Phase 2 Opens

Main Street Shops

Kim Weekes, Oneonta, above, settles into the hairdresser’s chair Saturday at The Hair Studio, 179 South Main St., Oneonta for a much anticipated wash and cut from owner Kelly Woessner as “Phase Two” of NY Forward arrived Friday, enabling stores and “personal services” to restart. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Sue Fink shows off the hand sanitizer station at the front of Tin Bin Alley, contributed by the Cooperstown Distillery.

Kim Weekes, Oneonta, had been waiting for this moment for two months.

“I feel giddy, like a school girl,” she said. “It’s like a first date!”

Weekes, a client of Kelly Woessner at The Hair Studio in The Shops at Ford and Main, snagged a coveted appointment on Saturday, May 29, Oneonta, the first full-day retail and hair salons could be open under Phase Two of NY Forward.

“I’ve had clients since 7:30 a.m.” said Woessner. “And I’m booked out until the end of June.”

Main Streets in Oneonta and Cooperstown saw an influx of customers; not quite the rush of summer traffic, but a welcome sight through doors that have been closed for two months.

“It’s so good to see people,” said Laura Tolbert, All About the Girls. “I’m starting to feel more human.”

“Customers are hungry to come in and shop,” said LJ Alexander, LJ’s Sassy Boutique. “We’re not online, so we depend on the customer who walks in the door.”

To open, stores had to follow a series of strict guidelines, including cleaning procedures, access to hand sanitizer, social distancing and no more than 50-percent capacity.

“The cleaning guidelines alone are 10 pages long,” said Nate Roberts, Serenity Hobbies. “And we put a hard cap of 10 customers at a time.”

“We had to submit a plan and fill out a whole booklet,” said Tolbert. “If people from the state come by and check, you have to be prepared.”

“The Cooperstown Distillery brought over hand sanitizer,” said Sue Fink, who gave her daughter-in-law,

Lori, a day off from Tin Bin Alley. “Businesses are really working together, and it’s been so nice to see everyone. Everyone is being very respectful.”

At Tin Bin Alley, tape lines were placed on the floor to keep customers 6 feet from the counter, and customers read the price to the clerk to minimize contact. At L’il Sassy’s Boutique, the store was marked for a one-way traffic flow.

“I got an additional certification in sanitizing procedures from Barbicide,” said Woessner. “I want to make sure my clients feel safe.”

An executive order from Governor Andrew Cuomo allowed store owners to refuse service to anyone not wearing a mask. But if you left yours in the car, All About the Girls, has a box of paper masks at the front of her store, free of charge.

“I want people to feel safe,” she said. “It’s so good to see everyone, it makes us all feel human again.”

She’ll also throw in a free fabric mask – black or leopard print – with every purchase. “We’ve got your mask here, either way.”

In Oneonta, The Artisan’s Guild and Serenity Hobbies modified hours to abbreviate staffing and allow for cleaning. “I can’t be fully open until Phase Four,” said Roberts. “So much of what we do is event-based, tournaments and game nights, and that’s under recreation.”

If the region continues to stay within the state’s parameters, Phase Three could open in 14 days, possibly allowing restaurants to open for in-house dining.

“We’ve back in the swing of things,” said Alexander. “It’s fun again, and it will only get better.”

“You can’t tell under the mask,” said Weekes as Woessner began to snip. “But I’m smiling.”

Sunny Shines, Cooperstown, Oneonta Main Streets Open

‘PHASE 2’ ALLOWS SHOPPING

Sun Shines, Cooperstown,

Oneonta Main Streets Open

Kim Weekes, Oneonta, above, settles into the hairdresser’s chair Saturday at The Hair Studio, 179 South Main St., Oneonta for a much anticipated wash and cut from owner Kelly Woessner as “Phase Two” of NY Forward arrived Friday, enabling stores and “personal services” to restart, and offices to do so on Monday.  Inset right, Sue Fink, Cooperstown, shows the hand sanitizer station, including sanitizer provided by Cooperstown Distillery, at Tin Bin Alley, 114 Main St., Cooperstown. Though stores required customers wear masks and limit capacity to 50 percent, many reported greeting plenty of happy customers anxious to support local commerce. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

NYC Looks To Phase 1, Otsego, Others Allowed To Shop, Work Again

GOVERNOR’S BRIEFING/Friday, May 29

NYC Looks To Phase 1,

Otsego, Others Allowed

To Shop, Work Again

 

ALBANY – It’s a sign of a pandemic on the run.

At today’s briefing, Governor Cuomo today announced even New York City, which has suffered from CORONA-19 more than almost any community in the world, will enter Phase 1 of reopening on June 8.

He also also announced five other regions, including Mohawk Valley (Otsego County’s) can enter Phase 2″, where offices and stores can reopen, and where you can even get a haircut.

HERZIG: un-PAUSE STALLS, BUT ONLY UNTIL SATURDAY

HERZIG: Un-PAUSE

STALLS, BUT ONLY

UNTIL SATURDAY

Southside Mall’s Inside Stores

Stay Shut, But May Open Soon

Southside Mall’s merchants had hoped to reopen Friday, but have been delayed – maybe only until Saturday – while epidemiologists and scientists” firm up guidelines. Store with outside entrances may open, the MVREDC reported this evening.
Mayor Herzig

UTICA – In disappointing news for Southside Mall – locally owned interior stores had hoped to open tomorrow (Friday) – Governor Cuomo failed to deliver guidelines that would allow Phase 2 of his un-PAUSE program to open, at least until Saturday.

Contrary to expectations, malls can’t open, although stores with outside entrances may open, Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig, who’s a member of Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council, was told at an MVREDC briefing that ended a few minutes ago.

Let Business Know When It Can Open, Oberacker Declares

Let Business Know

When It Can Open,

Oberacker Declares

With Phase Two Arriving Friday,

Governor Yet To Provide Details

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Oberacker

SCHENEVUS – In the face of uncertainly among local business people, Republican State Senate candidate Peter Oberacker issued a statement this afternoon calling on Governor Cuomo to “immediately release” more detailed information about Phase 2 of the plan to un-PAUSE New York State.

“We have been receiving many calls and messages asking where to find details regarding Phase 2 and sadly, there are none,” said Oberacker, who is running succeed state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, who is retiring.  He is running against Jim Barber, the Schoharie farmer who works for Cooperative Extension of Otsego & Schoharie Counties.

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21 Railroad Ave. Cooperstown, New York 13326 • (607) 547-6103