MARSHALL, Texas (KSLA) - Reopening is bittersweet, but mostly sweet if you ask the local business owners in East Texas.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbot announced Tuesday that his state will be 100% reopening, meaning no mask mandate and no more capacity restrictions. This is the news most business owners have been awaiting for nearly a year.
“It’s kind of a breath of fresh air; but really, where are we with things?” questioned Joseph Filippazzo, owner of Pazzeria by Pietro’s.
He said he plans to ease back into normalcy, especially since the pandemic is still prevalent in the country.
“I think we’re going to continue to proceed with caution and leave it to our guests on how they want us to seat them, if they still want contactless menus and if they want our servers to still wear masks.”
However, just around the corner, other business owners are focusing solely on the positives.
“It hit us hard, but we’ve pushed through it and I’m glad it’s finally over,” Donald Armstrong, general manager and pastry chef at Stagecoach Coffee Co.
The coffee shop opened about six months ago, in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, so he thinks it has a lot of unreached potential. “I can’t wait to see where it goes, to be honest.”
Shayy Ingram said she feels the relief, too. She owns Mela Beauty Bar, a salon just a few doors down from the coffee shop.
“I’ve been stressed and I’ve been losing money,” Ingram said.
She said the pandemic was especially difficult for her as a part of the beauty industry. “It’s basically made it harder on us with selling hair and getting hair on time,” Ingram explained.
While the news of Texas reopening is a step in the right direction, according to Ingram, she is looking forward to the end of the pandemic as a whole. She said that is the only way her business will go back to normal.