Breaking News
More () »

Businesses adjust for Phase 2 reopening in Washington and Oregon

As counties loosen restrictions in Washington and Oregon, many businesses face new challenges to recoup income safely.

CLARK COUNTY, Wash. — Phase 2 reopening looks different for Washington and Oregon, but for both, it means more businesses can reopen.

"It's just a WAHOO moment!" Karen Watkins of Main Street Trader in Vancouver said. "You can't see the smile through this mask, but I have never been so excited to get ready for work."

For about 10 weeks, the family business couldn't see customers.

"Pretty bad," her father Joe Morrison said. "A lot of expenses and no income."

Many business owners on their block can sympathize.

Clark County moved to Washington's version of Phase 2 last week. The county's application had stalled briefly due to an coronavirus outbreak at Firestone Pacific Foods.

Now businesses are working to recoup income safely.

"We are following CDC guidelines," Watkins said. "And we are lucky enough to have a 6,000 square-foot store where we can easily social distance and stay the six feet apart."

By Monday in Oregon, 29 counties will be in Phase 2, many shifting into it over the weekend.

Oregon's second phase allows for extended restaurant and bar hours and reopening of pools, movie theaters, bowling allies, and arcades.

Businesses can let people in with enough space for social distancing, or cleanable barriers installed between booths and tables.

That's a challenge for some smaller restaurants.

Gerry Hunter owns 3rd Street Pizza and The Diner in McMinnville. Yamhill County entered Phase 2 on Saturday.

"The name for our business is hospitality," Hunter explained. "We like to feed people and take care of them...And now our best hope is that they come in, get their stuff, and get out of here as fast as possible, so that we can turn that limited number of tables and try to get the revenue of the day that we need to survive."

Hunter said finding a long-term solution is tough, knowing the situation around COVID-19 could change.

Gov. Kate Brown has said most Oregon counties will remain in Phase 2 for months until a reliable treatment or vaccine becomes available.

Multnomah County is the only one left in Oregon that has not begun the reopening process. Its goal is to enter Phase 1 on Friday, June 12.

RELATED: Multnomah County applies for Phase 1

RELATED: These 29 Oregon counties have been approved for Phase 2 of reopening

RELATED: Clark County approved to enter Phase 2 of reopening

RELATED: Here's the framework for Phase 2 of Oregon's reopening plan

Before You Leave, Check This Out