SPOKANE, Wash. -- As local leaders hope for a move to phase two earlier than other Washington counties, small businesses say they simply cannot wait any longer. Each day they do, their fear of closure becomes a likely reality.
One South Hill boutique is preparing to open Tuesday, but customers will find more than scarves and belts up for grabs.
"We have a large shipment coming in today of hand sanitizer and toilet paper," Fringe owner Tiffany Mulgrew said. "We're also adding some canned food items."
Tiffany says a customer has not walked through their doors in two months. It's been beyond devastating for her bottom line.
"It breaks my heart to think I might not have this in a couple of months," she said.
The local shop is Tiffany's, first baby. For a decade, she's given it all she's got. It has been a favorite for shoppers on Spokane's South Hill. Tiffany believes it was more than just a clothing store. It was a place to build connections and life long friendships
"Now looking at it, I can't help but get emotional," she said. "It's my heart and soul."
But like so many other small businesses, it's crumbling. Several others have already announced they would be closing for good in our community
"You have to have sales to keep business going," she said. "We need to open. It's not a want to, we need to."
Tiffany has tried to do some online sales, but since it's never been their specialty, customers haven't been taking to it the way she hoped. She says bills are piling up and so are all the restrictions for shops like hers. Tiffany tells KHQ's Help Me Hayley, it feels like the 'small guys' are getting the biggest blows through this.
"We can't have our doors open, but Target can, Walmart can," she said. And we have a lot of the same offerings."
Tiffany says she has supplies need to disinfect her store and maintain social distancing between every shopper. They will be open starting Tuesday morning with essential items available for purchase.
Governor Inslee set out phase two guidelines for boutiques like Tiffany's to safely reopen upon phase two. One stood out in particular, stating, "any items used by customers in a fitting room and not purchased should be removed from active inventory on the sales floor and stored for a no less than 24 hours."
She, and other shops, are hopeful customers are aware of this and will refrain from trying on an item unless they are sure. Taking multiple pieces of clothing out of the rotation for 24 hours can hurt an already struggling business.