SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Mayor London Breed announced Wednesday that all retail stores within San Francisco that have access to the street for pick-up and deliveries will be allowed to reopen on May 18.
Initially, the city was prepared to allow just florists, bookstores, cosmetics stores and a few others to reopen on Monday for pickup and delivery services.
During her daily coronavirus briefing, Breed announced she was expanding that order to any retail store that has direct access to the street.
“The good news is that that [the limited openings] is still happening,” she said. “The even better news is we are able to extent this to all retail in San Francisco with a business that is actually, directly connected to the street. So what this means now for our city is incredible because we are talking about many of those small businesses in various neighborhoods where you see many of those shops that are closed, they will be able to open for curbside pickup and delivery. This will be incredible for the city.”
However, Breed said the order does not extend to large shopping malls.
“It does include all retail in San Francisco,” she added. “We are talking to close to 95 percent of businesses that unfortunately been closed. To provide this opportunity to our small business community is going to be incredible, but I want to be clear that there will of course be limitations. There will of course be certain requirements around wearing masks. Around maintaining social distancing and also ultimately we want to make sure that these businesses understand and are prepared for these guidelines. And are able to provide his level of service to the community.”
Breed said the reopening should give the sagging San Francisco economy a much-needed boost.
“This not only going to support the jobs that hopefully many will return as a result of this,” she said. “This will support the communities and the people who love these businesses and want to see them continue. It’s a continued step of course in the right direction.”
Breed also announced the city would also allow manufacturers to reopen.
“We also will be allowing manufacturing and warehouse to open as well,” she said. “Again under certain guidelines … So we can continue to gradually reopen our city as we see changes in very specific indicators. You know from the very beginning what we have said — what has been our guiding principle — is the date, the facts, our public health officials and we do appreciate what they have done to get us to this point where even though we continue to see in some cases the numbers (of cases) increase, we do see the numbers flattening, they have not declined but the fact is we are in a better place.”
“Not where we want to be,” she added. “But we are in a better place.”
The mayor’s announcement was met with relief and enthusiasm by San Francisco residents and business owners alike.
The Williams-Sonoma store at Chestnut and Fillmore had been boarded up with plywood, but the plywood has now been taken down. Shoppers say they’re ready.
“I like going to the shops if I can, because they’re all friends and it’s a small little neighborhood. So, absolutely, I’d love for them to be open and do curbside pickup,” said Elissa Koestenbaum.
For some retailers like Deleuse Jewelers though, the move to curbside may not be possible. There is a sing the window of the shop the family has run on Chestnut Street for 68 years that reads, “We Miss You.”
“Even if I open curbside and someone brought me something and said, “Hhey, I need this old watch fixed,” — our vendors, they’re not open,” said owner Rita Deleuse.
She may hold out for even more relaxed restrictions.
“We just can’t do curbside. I said that we would maybe hold out until July 1st then we need to seriously consider curbside. It would only be repair, minimal repairs,” explained Deleuse.
Andria Borba contributed to this report.