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Coronavirus: Lethbridge businesses mark Day 1 of Alberta’s economic relaunch

Click to play video 'Stage 1 begins: how 1st day of Alberta’s economic relaunch looked for Lethbridge businesses' Stage 1 begins: how 1st day of Alberta’s economic relaunch looked for Lethbridge businesses
WATCH ABOVE: Hair salons, restaurants and other businesses were given the green light to reopen Thursday after being shut down to prevent the spread of COVID-19. For those that chose to do so, the outcome was promising. Eloise Therien has more on Lethbridge’s first day back. – May 14, 2020

While following guidelines from the government of Alberta and chief medical officer of health, certain businesses opened up Thursday for the first time in about two months.

READ MORE: Alberta businesses must detail health and safety approach after reopening during COVID-19

For hairstylists, the satisfaction of helping people feel and look their best is rewarding. 

“I really like people,” said Bev Lanz, a hairstylist at Snip Style Lounge.

“I like the interaction… it’s making me feel alive.” 

“If you’re happy with what you’re looking at, you tend to feel better,” said Kayla Piecharka.

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Snip Style Lounge on 3rd Avenue S. has implemented all the required cleaning procedures as outlined by the provincial government, opening Thursday morning.

Piecharka says although masks are not required for customers, the location is making them mandatory. Prior to their appointment, clients receive a text with details regarding what to expect during their visit.

“The masks that we do offer, we are offering for a very small fee,” she said. “If you have one at home… then our supply isn’t going to waste.”

READ MORE: May long weekend: What you can and can’t do in Alberta during COVID-19

The Duke Pub & Grill also opened its doors Thursday morning, along with other restaurants under the same ownership, including Pop’s Taphouse & Grill, Kingsmen Ale House, Coulee Brew Co. and Mojos Craft Pub & Grill. 

The Duke continued offering pick-up and delivery while the dining room was closed.  General Manager Kieran Meeks says it’s nice to be back at work, and be able to help people enjoy dining out again.

“It’s an escape,” Meeks said.

He adds the biggest reward is knowing it can get staff back to work.

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“When we’re able to provide stuff to the community and get our employees back to work, that means a lot to us.”

Among other things, restaurants must operate at 50 per cent occupancy, while maintaining two-metre physical distancing.

Click to play video 'Hinshaw hoping Alberta cases will stay relatively flat after relaunch' Hinshaw hoping Alberta cases will stay relatively flat after relaunch
Hinshaw hoping Alberta cases will stay relatively flat after relaunch – May 14, 2020

Kayleigh Hamilton Smith, owner of House of Hammm Consignment Boutique, says having to close down back in March was devastating, but once there was news of a potential opening date, things changed. 

“That fire was relit, and you come in and you’re cleaning and setting up, and you’re doing stuff,” she said.

“You know there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.”

House of Hammm plans on reopening on Tuesday, following the long weekend.

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Hamilton Smith says this will give her a chance to support other local businesses whose business hours typically conflict with hers.

“This is kind of my chance to go and spread some love.”

A full list of guidelines and regulations can be found at alberta.ca

Click to play video 'Returning to work? Know your rights as an employee' Returning to work? Know your rights as an employee
Returning to work? Know your rights as an employee – May 14, 2020