MEDINA, Ohio — Medina's historic square is a popular spot for several small businesses, but many of the shops and restaurants have either temporarily closed or were forced to change the way they operate because of the coronavirus crisis.
As the stress and uncertainty surrounding the pandemic drags on, many of the struggling owners continue to ask the same question: When can we reopen?
"I would love to reopen tomorrow and be absolutely wonderful, but I think that would invite some issues," said Laura Parnell Cavey who owns Cool Bean Cafe and Honey Bee Bakery. "I'd like to go back to normalcy and open the doors."
Parnell Cavey has applied for loans to help her businesses. She has also laid off more than 20 employees, but said the workers will have jobs waiting for them when things return to normal.
"Unfortunately in this position, I'm completely powerless to help anything," she said.
Parnell Cavey has adjusted the hours at Cool Beans Cafe and curbside pickup is only available on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
A baker is still working at Honey Bee Bakery, but cakes and other baked goods can only be picked up outside the shop or delivered.
"We are doing birthday cakes. We are doing some other fun things that we are delivering too, so it's zero contact. I drop it on your doorstep, ring your doorbell and I run away," the owner told News 5.
Dr. Amy Acton, the director of the Ohio Department of Health, said Ohioans have flatted the coronavirus curve, but has repeatedly cautioned the state is not out of the woods.
"I think we're gonna stay flat for a while is what I'm predicting and we'll start, hopefully, start to slope our way down," Acton said.
Governor Mike DeWine said he's seeking input form businesses on ways to keep customers and employees safe if restrictions are eased, but stressed Ohio has to be cautious about reopening.
"We have to be as deliberate and careful and thoughtful as we were when we had to make the decisions to close things down," DeWine said.
Parnell Cavey feels somewhat encouraged by the words from state leaders, but she expects a gradual return to business.
"If we do this very slowly like if restaurants have a limited amount of people. We still do the takeout. Let more people in here to work and to produce what we need, but still keep that social distancing and so forth, I think that would be helpful," she said.
Medina Mayor Dennis Hanwell said the city is checking in with businesses to see if there's any support that can be offered. He said the city will follow guidelines established by the state when it comes to businesses opening back up.
"It's a constant balancing act," Hanwell said. "For everything you allow to reopen, then you have to balance that against the risk of possible exposure," he said.