By Betty Yu

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) – Many business owners in San Francisco didn’t know what to expect on day one of phase two for reopening business after the COVID-19 shutdown.

Overall, foot traffic was slow across San Francisco but stores were eager to open for curbside pickup after being closed for two months, and neighborhoods looked a bit more energized.

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Donna O’Leary owns Ambiance, a clothing and accessories store with three locations in the city.

“It’s not really great for our kind of business,” she said. “It’s okay, but since people like to try things on, makes it a little tricky.”

O’Leary says she would not have survived the pandemic without government relief loans.

Still, only two people took advantage of curbside pickup on Monday.

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“We sold a pair of sunglasses this morning, because we can show them the sunglasses,” said O’Leary. “They put gloves on, we have gloves and masks, so everybody stays good, but with the regular way retail works, there’s not much they can really do.”

Like many other retailers that relied on brick and mortar sales, O’Leary is now gearing up to launch an e-commerce website.

Down the street at Video Wave, one of San Francisco’s oldest video rental stores, owner Colin Hutton says there wasn’t a huge rush when he reopened.

“There’s been a lot of conversations with people about how things are working now, so there’s a lot of information that’s being transferred,” he said. “I’ve had a few transactions, I’ve had a few drop-ins that I wasn’t able to have before. I signed up a new customer today, which is the first time in a couple of months.”

Mayor London Breed showed her support for small businesses reopening for curbside pickup.
She was spotted getting a book from Green Apple Books on 9th Avenue near Golden Gate Park.

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“I’m so happy about this book, I don’t know what to do,” said Breed. “I’m so happy to come here and pick it up, and I’d been even more happy if I could go in and look for a few other books, but I’ll just go online and see what they have.”