SHERMAN OAKS—As of Friday, May 8, certain businesses began their reopening procedures dictated by the state’s guidelines. Bookstores and flower shops are among the list of approved establishments at this time. Lisa Kingsley, owner of Books On The Boulevard, and Sona A., owner of flower shop Garden of Kisses, prepare for future days in their Sherman Oaks community. They expressed their thoughts to Canyon News.

“I’m looking forward to having browsers back. With the free time during the shutdown, I’ve added some new sections to the store. I’ve sent out pictures of all the new boxes waiting to be shelved to a few of my regular customers, and they’re impatient to get some new reading material,” Kingsley stated.

“As a business owner, I’m relieved that the business community is gearing back up. It’s probably the right time to do it. I think bookstores like this are probably good interim businesses to kick off this phase. There are usually only a few people coming in at a time, and everyone has a different favorite section. Social distancing is pretty much automatic.”

Library closures have been beneficial for their business. Parents are purchasing educational materials for their children during the lockdown.

Sona A. has been under stress these past several weeks and without work for at least a month. “I didn’t get any SBA Disaster Loan. I was barely living this whole time.”

According to their website, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will start accepting new Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance applications once again. Only agricultural businesses within the United States are allowed to apply and receive funds at this time.

The flower shop owner believes her customers will be happy because several have asked about Mother’s Day deliveries. “I was telling them I’m not sure yet,” she shared last week. Still, the annual celebration has kept her busy. She explained it is the second largest holiday for flower shops behind Valentine’s Day.

Communities are expected to demonstrate greater progress in the coming weeks to move through Stage 2 of the state of California’s reopening plan. Los Angeles County must meet the readiness criteria, and collaborate with the California Department of Public Health before other businesses can reopen. A readiness plan will be created and shared publicly.