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LOCAL COVID-19 BUSINESS IMPACT: Olds' Jensen's Men's Wear planning to reopen

Area business owners are voicing support for the planned first stage of the province’s economic re-launch, which could occur as early as May 14.
MVT Jensen's Men's Wear
Mike and Lindsay Caskey own Jensen's Men's Wear in Olds. They will be opening with just the two of them working and will bring staff on as business picks up. File photo/MVP Staff

Area business owners are voicing support for the planned first stage of the province’s economic re-launch, which could occur as early as May 14.

The province announced last week that the initial reopening would allow some businesses and services to reopen and resume operations with two metre physical distancing requirements and other public health restrictions remaining in place.

Mike Caskey, along with his wife Lindsay own Jensen’s Men’s Wear in Olds.

“I’m happy to hear the announcement, but it’s going to take a lot of work and a lot effort to get things back to normal to where they were. But it’s a start,” he said.

In addition to Mike and his wife, about five staff members were employed at the store before the shutdown.

“It won’t be everyone back, full throttle right off the bat. It’ll just be me and my wife. And then we’ll slowly bring people back in as we pick up and get busier,” he said.

Asked how arduous the shutdown has been, he said, “Extremely tough. I bring in between $80,000 and $90,000 worth of goods for grad, wedding season, the proms and everything.

“When those are shut down, I’m stuck with this inventory that I need to try and sell to create cash flow to get ready for my next set of seasonal items coming in for fall.

“We’re going to have to put more time here at the store to save money to recapture the month-and-a-half of sales that we didn’t have.”

Non-essential businesses had been ordered closed in March as part of the province’s COVID-19 pandemic response.

Under the first stage of the reopening, retail businesses permitted to resume operations including clothing, furniture and bookstores, hairstyling and barber shops, museums and art galleries, daycares with limits on occupancy, cafes and restaurants with no bar service and seating limited to 50 per cent capacity.

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