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Less COVID-19 restrictions boosts local business

Shelby Countians experience first weekend with no business restrictions
Updated: Jun. 12, 2021 at 9:08 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Saturday was the first day Shelby County Health Department Directive 22 went into effect removing almost all COVID-19 restrictions on local businesses.

Business owners say with restrictions gone, consumer confidence is at an all time high just in time for great summer weather.

But one on-going problem continues to stick around.

Joellyn Sullivan, owner of Silky O’Sullivans said “It’s a very exciting time.”

The removal of restrictions means restaurants like Silky O’Sullivans can offer more services to their customers.

“This weeks marks the first full week where we’ve got live music back every day of the week,” said Sullivan.

The new directive removes almost all restrictions on local businesses, giving them the choice to require masks for customers and employees as well as removing restrictions for capacity or social distancing.

After an unbelievably difficult year, businesses are seeing a major boost recently in customers.

“We have seen a good rebound. We’re definitely seeing people traveling from all over the country now,” said Sullivan.

“We’re on track to probably have the busiest summer we’ve had yet. We’re still new so that’s good. But I mean it’s just hard with staffing,” said Sallie Jewell, Saltwater Crab bar manager.

Along with the optimism, filling open jobs continues to be an issue making operating at full capacity difficult.

“We set up interviews, we set up everything for them to come in, basically you’re hired you just need to come in and have your interview just speak to us. People won’t come in,” said Jewell. “We recently had to shut down on Tuesday’s because we can’t get enough staff in,” said Sullivan. “Everybody’s hiring. Please, please anybody that wants a job. Come and ask because we’ll hire you on the spot.”

Restaurant owners said please be patient with customer service while the industry remains understaffed.

They also ask that customers tip if they can because restaurant employees rely on that income to survive.

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