Citrus Heights Sentinel Logo

Citrus Heights businesses hoping for return to normal

A temporary notice is taped to a door of a business at San Juan Plaza in Citrus Heights. // CH Sentinel

Updated 12:22 p.m., May 8th–
By Mike Hazlip– Following the governor’s announcement this week that some retail businesses will be allowed to reopen this Friday, there’s a glimmer of hope that business will be returning to normal in Citrus Heights.

According to the Governor’s Office, businesses deemed “lower risk” will be allowed to reopen with modifications this Friday, including bookstores, clothing stores, florists, and sporting goods retailers. Additional guidelines were released Thursday afternoon.

Citrus Heights has over 2,300 licensed businesses, many of which are retail, dining, and service establishments that have been affected by coronavirus shutdowns.

Half Price Books, located in the Citrus Town Center, is among local businesses planning to reopen Friday. Pam Yamamoto, California district manager for Half Price Books, told The Sentinel she expects the Citrus Heights location to begin offering curb-side pickup on Friday and said a tentative reopening of the location is scheduled for May 23. However, the Citrus Heights location will not buy used books from the public until a later date. 

Igor Lapatski, owner of Awesome Blossom flower shop in Citrus Heights, has remained open, but said business has been slower. He said there are fewer walk-in customers, but the flower shop is still making deliveries.

Related: Meet the husband-wife duo behind this Citrus Heights flower shop

While Mother’s Day, coming up on May 10, is usually booming for the flower business, Lapatski said it’s harder to find flowers because the wholesale market has been closed. “Right now, there is less flowers on the market,” he said, also noting that shipping costs have also risen. 

Seniya Cortez, owner of Diamond Bridal Gallery in Citrus Heights, said in a phone interview Wednesday that her shop has remained open through the shutdown. Before the restrictions, Cortez saw close to a dozen weekend appointments, in addition to walk in customers. Now, she said the shop only sees three to four on weekends.

Cortez said some weddings are still taking place, but with fewer guests or are being rescheduled for 2021. She hopes business will increase in June.

David McCall, general manager of Gold’s Gym in Citrus Heights, said in a social media post on Monday that he looks forward to reopening his gym, but said he’s afraid that bankruptcies and financial hardships “will become all too common both in the health club industry as well as among other businesses throughout the country.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic will spare no one,” he wrote. His comments also clarified that while Gold’s Gym International declared bankruptcy this week and will be closing 30 locations, his gym is independently owned and will not affected by bankruptcy.

The Sentinel reached out to retailers Hobby Lobby and Barnes & Noble but did not receive comment by press time. A notice on Hobby Lobby’s door last month said the store closed on March 18 due to health directives and will reopen “when the situation improves.” The notice said the store “looks forward to returning to normalcy.”

California Department of Public Health data shows hospitalizations are stable. The Department’s report card incorporates six key measures to determine the State’s readiness to reopen. The six key factors the department is measuring are: stability of hospitalizations, personal protective equipment inventory, health care surge capacity, testing capacity, contact tracing capability, and public health guidance in place.

Friday’s re-openings are part of “stage 2” plans for reopening business in the state. Stage 3 will include religious services, movie theaters, hair salons and others being allowed to resume. Concert venues and sporting events with live audiences will be the last to reopen, during stage 4.

The Governor’s Office said this week that counties will have discretion to move forward with reopening ahead of other parts of the state. County health officials will work with local authorities to self-certify based on regional conditions.

*This story has been updated to include a corrected number of businesses in Citrus Heights, after receiving confirmation from the city on Friday.

Like local news? Sign up for The Sentinel’s free email edition and get two emails a week with all local news and no spam, ever. (Click here)