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Local Merchants Prepare For Limited Customers This Weekend

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Nick Santillo for WHQR
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The reopening of Wilmington begins at 5 pm Friday.

Friday at 5 p.m. Phase 1 of Governor Roy Cooper’s reopening plan will take effect. The biggest change is that a wider range of retail stores will be allowed to open. Stores will still need to limit shoppers to 50% of capacity, and maintain sanitary and social distancing. This phase is set to last for at least two weeks. 

Businesses in the Cape Fear region and across the state are getting ready to reopen their doors, and hoping customers return. Gwenyfar Rohler is Managing Partner of Old Books on Front Street.

“We are going to try a test run of reopening this Saturday. We are limiting the number of people in the store. There can be eight people in the building, including me. Everybody's going to sanitize their hands before they walk in the door. No food, no drinks, nothing that you can drop a bodily fluid onto something on.”

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Wilmington Downtown Incorporated President Ed Wolverton expects most businesses downtown will open. 

“I have been in discussions with many downtown retail shop owners. The majority do plan to open. There are some that are not going to open on Saturday and others just want a little extra preparation time.”

If the state meets its goals of reducing or leveling the number of COVID-19 cases, Phase 2 could be implemented in a few weeks. That which would allow limited dine-in services, bars, salons, and gyms to reopen. Vince Winkel, WHQR News.