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Local Businesses in Mississippi Open Up
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Retail and floral stores are in their first week of being reopened.
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Earlier this week, Governor Tate Reeves allowed for nonessential businesses to open for curbside services and delivery. But continued social distancing means new challenges for some businesses. MPB’s Alexandra Watts reports.

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Non-essential businesses are now partially re-opened for the first time since the governor’s shelter-in-place order.

But retail stores, florists and personal care salons still cannot have customers inside to shop.

Curbside pickup must be used at places like Flowers ’N’ Things in Cleveland.

Vallerie Ray owns the store and says they were able to provide flowers for memorial services this past month. But she is happy the store is reopening in time for a major day.

"We have two really large holidays for our shop, and that’s Valentines and Mother’s Day. So, I am hoping that everything will be back, and if not, we send pictures. We’ll send you an email, We’ll send you a video. Whatever we can do to help everybody, we’ll do."

Flowers ’N’ Things is also a gift shop, but with people unable to browse inside, some products risk being unseen and unsold.

The lack of a traditional shopping experience is also a challenge for store manager Janice Conoway at Montage Marketplace in Greenville.

"We are also a location where looking around is what sells our products. Our regular customers ask for certain things, but it’s people who have never been in here before and just want to walk around and browse and look."

Conoway said she hopes the store, which has vendors selling everything from jewelry to art, will get permission to let a limited number of people inside in the future.

Governor Tate Reeves says he wants the state to reopen at a gradual pace. The state’s shelter-in-place order expires on Monday.