The weight has been lifted. Many capacity restrictions across the State are now back up to 100%. Fitness Mill Owner Alex Carbone says he was fortunate to have enough room so the capacity restrictions didn’t have a big impact, but the feeling of getting back to normal has everyone pumped.
"An exciting time! I mean we’ve been through a lot the past year. We’ve been through the shutdown. We survived that, and today is just… we feel liberated."
The Florentine Bakery Shop can now get back to making some real dough. They took a financial hit when the capacity at wedding parties was restricted because the demand for wedding cakes went down as well. Now the orders are picking up, and their dining room won’t have to be so empty. Florentine Bakery Shop Head Baker Jared Alesia says:
"Most of our business is you know pastries and cakes out front, so it’s like I’d say it’s only about 25% of dining room coffee service, so it hasn’t been too bad for us, but I know the regulars will be happy that they can come back."
Another businesses that took a real cut was the New Hartford Barber Shop. Many patrons just didn’t feel comfortable waiting inside to get a haircut. Manager Grant Gilman talked about how the fear of COVID is having a lasting effect.
"We took a big hit. A lot of people still to this day have not gotten a haircut. I’ve seen guys with hair down to their shoulders, and I say where you been, and they said oh I don’t feel like getting it quite yet. I’m not quite comfortable, or the wife likes it longer, or you know something like that, but slowly we’re coming back."
Customer’s moods have brightened at Sunny’s Restaurant. The lunchtime rush isn’t anything like it used to be, but the takeout orders are still a hot item, and Chef Sarvong Soeung says it’s just a matter of time before people once again crowd the dining room.
"It was very solemn. It was very lonely. Usually a restaurant business is always bustling people in and out. Talking, hello how you doing, like friendly neighborhood kind of vibe, but that died down. We kind of miss that. So we want that to come back. It’s like hey we’re here, don’t forget about us."
While most of the capacity restrictions have been lifted, there’s still a 6 foot social distancing requirement in place, and larger gatherings require proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test result. To get the latest restrictions you can visit New York's website at: https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-cuomo-governor-murphy-and-governor-lamont-announce-significant-easing-covid-19