Business owners, community leaders and members of the public were in downtown Waxahachie on Friday morning to celebrate the gradual reopening of businesses and restaurants.
Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order Monday that would allow businesses to increase their operating capacity over time starting Friday.
Waxahachie Chamber of Commerce President Sandy King shared her enthusiasm about the reopening of businesses not just in Waxahachie but throughout Ellis County.
“We are so excited,” King said. “The reason why I am so excited is that I feel like Ellis County has won. We did what we’re supposed to, to keep the numbers down to help flatten the curve.
“It means a lot to these business owners because they were hanging by a string,” she said. “For them to be able to get people back into their businesses, it means the world.”
King said it has been “a tough time” seeing businesses that she cares for struggle to remain open.
“One day it is stories of incredible giving and generosity throughout the community,” she said. “Then, the very next day, I wake up to a business owner crying and saying they don’t know if they will come out the other end of it. It has been very much an emotional roller-coaster for all of us.”
King said she has faith that people across Ellis County will exercise common sense and take the proper precautions if they feel comfortable going out in public. She noted businesses have taken steps to keep the public safe.
“There will be strict guidelines being followed through all of these businesses,” she said. “They have been cleaning, mopping and disinfecting, getting ready to take care of you the right way. We wanted to come out here today to show you how you can gather together and still social distance and do the right thing to keep safe and protect yourself.”
Amber Adams, Waxahachie Downtown Merchants Association member and owner of the Velvet Angel, shared King’s feelings about the importance of the day and what it means to businesses.
“I just want to say thank you so much to the community for coming out and supporting us,” Adams said. “For shopping online, doing local pickup and letting us ship to you, which has helped to keep our businesses going. This downtown is a very vibrant community. You guys come out and support us and we truly appreciate it.”
Adams stressed that all steps are being taken to keep the public safe as it comes out to shop.
“We want you to know that we will do everything in our existence to keep you guys safe, the masks, sanitizing, everything that we can possibly do,” she said. “If you have suggestions tell us. If you have an underlying (health) issue, get on our online stores and shop. We will deliver it to you, we will mail it to you, or you can pick it up locally.
“We just truly appreciate all of your support,” she said.