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Local business owners prepare for Ohio's May 1st reopening

Some businesses are preparing to open May first without hearing the official plan from Governor Mike DeWine.

CLEVELAND — Some businesses are preparing to open May first without hearing the official plan from Governor Mike Dewine.

“The community comes first and I think if you can’t support the safety of the community then maybe you can’t open right away,” says Owner of Functions of Life, Mike Soster.

The 15-thousand square feet open air gym is located in Broadview Heights and it is preparing to open.

DeWine is expected to layout part of his plan to open the state on Monday. Federal guidance includes gyms in phase one but it’s unclear if that will also be the case in Ohio.

RELATED: Gov. DeWine to roll out plans for Ohio's May 1 reopening on Monday

Soster says classes that might normally have five people will now be cut in half and there will be no overlapping equipment. They've also done a deep cleaning of the facility.  

“We don’t have machinery and we don’t’ have memberships, it’s just you come and you do personal training, small group sessions, fitness classes, sports performance,” he says.

Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory in Westlake is open only two days per week during the pandemic.  On May first the hope is to fully open while continuing to practice social distancing.

“Every customer that comes in we offer them an antiseptic wipe, you can see on our floor we put tape down, six fee apart, we only allow a maximum right now of six people in the store at one time,” explains Owner Peter Vinocur.

“The levels [of people shopping] will be down I think as people get out more and the confidence in general is increased I think we’ll start seeing a gradual increase in business all around.”

Akron-area State Representative Tavia Galonski is on the Ohio House Economic Recovery Task Force.  The group has been hearing testimony from small business owners, franchisees, and employees.

“As our work is continuing on the task force the governor is moving closer and closer to opening up Ohio and I think that’s a definite tribute to some of the testimony that we’ve heard at the task force which is, please open up Ohio immediately and do it all at once on May first,” she says.

While Galonski doesn’t believe that will happen she is concerned about inconsistency in personal protective equipment and testing.

“To talk about opening Ohio, I hear the desperation, I hear the concern but I just can’t believe, I just don’t believe that were ready,” she says. 

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