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Back in business for Harford County

Harford County shops prepare to reopen
Posted at 4:41 PM, May 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-14 17:33:58-04

BEL AIR, Md. — He’s in the business of cutting hair, but Angelo Monico is splitting time between cutting hair and scheduling cuts now that Towne Barbers on South Main Street in Bel Air is preparing to reopen at 50 percent of its capacity.

“It’s ringing all the time, nonstop, and text message and emails,” said Monico. “I can’t keep up with it to be honest with you. I just can’t.”

Two doors down outside The Nest gift shop, Kathi Gromacki and her daughter are doing a little spring cleaning, both inside and out, as they prepare to reopen its doors.

“We’re lifting things up for people to see better and not have to walk around, and they can feel comfortable with the distance between each customer,” said Gromacki.

Harford County Executive Barry Glassman says social distancing, face masks and hand washing will be crucial for the reopening businesses to protect their employees and customers, alike, and the county is easing code restrictions to provide additional distancing.

“I’m going to sign an order this afternoon that will also loosen county standards so retailers can use their parking lots and outdoor spaces as retail areas too, if they choose to do that,” said Glassman. “Most of the research indicates that that’s a safer way to do business.”

And whether it’s bringing back furloughed workers to the gift shop…

“I’m bringing them all back,” said Gromacki.

Or to the barber shop…

“I’m bringing back two full-time barbers,” added Monico.

Even at half of their capacity, they look forward to being back in business.

As we previously reported, the county also recently got $22 million in federal COVID grant money and will begin accepting applications from small businesses next week, helping them to get back on their feet.