COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (WOWT) -- Gov. Kim Reynolds on Thursday afternoon expanded the list of retail stores that have to shut down, leaving retailers forced to close their doors with only a few hours' notice.
The owner at Bloom Works Florist says they were surprised to hear the news that today would be their last day open until the governor says otherwise. (WOWT)
The owner at Bloom Works Florist says they were surprised to hear the news that today would be their last day open until the governor says otherwise.
“Losing wedding work, losing funeral work, event work,” said Alisa Roth, owner of Bloom Works.
Roth said these last couple of weeks during the coronavirus pandemic have been hard, with the abundance of cancellations.
“I think there's lots of questions floating around, like, 'Can I continue some of my delivery services but keep my retail shut?” Roth said.
On Thursday, Reynolds broadened the state's disaster health proclamation, or DHP, forcing "non-essential" retail stores to close. The list includes bookstores, clothing, shoe, furniture, beauty stores and even florists like Roth's flower shop.
“That’s a huge cut for us, if we have to shut down entirely,” Roth said.
She said she worries about her employees.
“We've made sure that the essential ones that need that paycheck are still going, and I'm doing my best to keep them employed as long as I can,” she said.
Sandy Carlson is one of her employees.
“All of the things I normally do to make money have just been canceled, so there goes my income for the next several months," she said.
At Kelly's Carpet & Furniture store, Chris Hughes said he didn’t expect any more cutbacks from the governor so soon.
“It’s a nerve-wracking thing, and a nerve-wracking time, and it's scary,” he said.
Right now, he says, their survival is in limbo, still trying to figure out if they can keep half of their business open.
“Are we open? Are we not open? Bills still come in — they don't come in?” he asked. “As of now, we think our flooring portion is open, and our furniture is closed.”
Hughes said not knowing whether this was their last day open is weighing on everyone.
“The big thing is, you wanna keep people employed," he said. "I mean, you have families you have to take care of."
Later on, Kelly’s Carpet confirmed the non-retail side will remain half-open since they do construction.