XENIA, Ohio (WDTN) – Tuesday marked a momentous day for retail in Ohio as stores were allowed to officially reopen to the public by following state guidelines and recommendations.
At least two small, locally-owned businesses in Xenia said they had a very successful first day back and that it was like a breath of fresh air after they had been hit extremely hard by the coronavirus closures.
After nearly two months of being closed, Route 68 Vintage Toys and Collectibles on S. Detroit St., the store reopened at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, May 12.
Less than two hours later, the owner, Rob Eldridge, said they had already met their store budget for the day.
“We’ve only had a couple customers, but between that, the phone calls that we’ve received of people seeing something online that they want, it’s great,” said Eldridge.
Eldridge said this was a much needed boost for his small business. He said while closed, his store’s online sales went really well but his bottom line still felt the impact.
“As a toy shop and as toy show promoters, there were no events to go to to sell your products,” said Eldridge. “Every toy show and comic-con across the country has been cancelled. Those are the ways we make money.”
About a block away is another small business, Carson’s Treasures.
There, customers wearing masks purchased trinkets and records, and the store owner, Davin Carson, said his first day back open also went very well.
“Today’s actually been very awesome, people have been coming through, supporting us, we’ve had great business today and it’s barely lunchtime, so very happy with how it’s turned out,” said Carson.
Carson’s Treasures has only been open for about a year, so the owner said he was worried when he had to close for nearly two months.
“I have a family, a wife and three kids and this is the only way we have to support ourselves,” said Carson. “So with it closing down, it was very stressful for us, but there’s a lot of local people here that support us that we were able to make it through this time.”
One of those supporters is Edward Stephens.
On Tuesday, Stephens told 2 NEWS he felt fully prepared with his mask and the correct information on how to properly re-enter shops and he’s really happy to do his part to help make these small businesses thrive.
Stephens said he’s a lifelong resident of Xenia and knows how important it is to always support locally owned businesses, but especially right now.
“We’re actually really starting to grow and I’m hoping that it will grow more,” said Stephens. “It’s really important that we keep local businesses in the area so we don’t have to go to Dayton and Beavercreek and all of these other surrounding towns.”
Eldridge said support like this right now is such a relief because businesses like his took a major hit during this pandemic.
“We don’t have employees so we couldn’t apply for the loans,” said Eldridge. “We can’t get unemployment, of course things changed recently that helped, and the stimulus money really helped us. But we just had to really buckle down.”
Both Eldridge and Carson said they’ve used the last few weeks to deep clean and revamp their shops and are excited to finally welcome people back.