Business owners respond to Knox County mayor’s reopening proposal from coronavirus shutdown

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KNOX COUNTY, Tenn. (WATE) — On Tuesday, Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs unveiled a proposal to begin a phased reopening of businesses in Knox County.

Mayor Jacobs said right now, the document is just a proposal and not set in stone. However, for some Knox County business owners, the idea gives them hope.

“I’m excited to get back to how everything was. We really miss being able to work and do what we do best. I’m very supportive of it. Whenever they say everything’s good to go, we’ll be ready,” said Justin Holmes, owner of restaurant Pizza Hoss.

Pizza Hoss restaurant has scaled back hours amid the coronavirus pandemic. Holmes said they see most of their business now through curbside delivery.

But the gradual return of dining-in options for restaurants and bars is part of Jacobs’ new proposal, initially limiting seating capacity and spacing tables at least six feet apart.

“It’s not enough to survive. It will be good enough for now, it will kind of get us by for now, but I think there’s only a few more months left before we really need to be back at that full stride, for us anyway, to make sure we’re healthy financially,” Holmes said.

The plan also outlines the phased reopening of personal appearance businesses.

“It brings a little light of hope at the end of this tunnel,” said Hannah Odend’hal, of Lucy Lu’s Boutique and le Coop Salon.

Jacobs is recommending places like salons open for appointments only, with limited capacity to make sure they can still maintain social distancing.

“Normally we do allow walk-ins, so that will be something that will have to change during this period, we won’t be able to do walk-ins. And then lot of us typically double book, so we won’t be doing that either, just to limit the amount of people in the salon at one time,” said Taylor Ballinger with Studio Chrome.

“We want to get back in the salon, but we also want our health for our guests and ourselves, our families to not be put in jeopardy,” Lindsey Moore of Enve Salon said.

If any changes were to happen in Knox County, they’d take place after the governor lifts his Stay-at-Home order, which as of now runs through April 30.

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