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Clackamas County reopening sees huge demand for some businesses, slower start for others

Entering Phase 1 means restaurants, bars, salons and gyms can reopen with restrictions meant to slow the virus spread.

LAKE OSWEGO, Ore. — In downtown Lake Oswego, Memorial Day showed up wet and relatively quiet.

Despite the city and Clackamas County having the green light to reopen nearly everything that was closed due to coronavirus restrictions, with social distancing in place, there were not many shoppers rushing back to stores.

But there are quiet explosions of demand, especially in the hair care business.

The Richard Henry Barbershop reopened this weekend. It’s now so busy the owner did not want to talk on camera. He said 3,900 people called trying to book appointments for haircuts, which run $40. He has six stylists booked solid now for the next three weeks.

Not far away, City Home Store is open.

“I’m 100% excited about being open. And I think it just feels good to be doing what we are born to do,” said manager Kelly Atwood.

She typically manages the Vancouver store, but it and one other are still closed so she is running things in Lake Oswego. They reopened 10 days ago under new state guidelines. Changes included plexiglass at the cash register and personal protective gear is top of mind.

“I’m not wearing my mask because no one’s in the store right now. And you and I are six feet apart so we’re good,” she said with a laugh.

Entering Phase 1 means restaurants, bars, salons and gyms can reopen in Clackamas County, with restrictions meant to slow the virus spread. Lake Oswego Mayor Kent Studebaker welcomes the reopenings, but knows there is still economic danger.

“If the restaurants have to have everybody six feet, or each table has to be six feet apart, that limits the number of people they can have. And so, for a couple months, I would suspect, they’re gonna have limited revenue,” he said.

Some businesses stayed closed.

It’s too soon to tell how fast the economy will rebound in Clackamas County. But some customers are getting out again.

"It’s a good feeling on so many levels," said Kelly Atwood from City Home.

“People have been coming to our store and they’re excited just to be out and about. So, it’s just fun to have people seeing each other, making eye contact, smiling and laughing. People are happy to be out,” she said.

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