EVERETT, Wash. -- J. Matheson Gifts, Kitchen and Gourmet is a staple in Everett. In less than 2 months, COVID-19 decimated 29 years of hard work for owner Judy Matheson.
“We had to lay off employees, the revenue loss was great we were down to nothing,” Matheson said.
On Tuesday, for the first time in a while, Judy was busy. It’s not the same as it was before the virus but it’s progress.
It's the same day Washington state launched Phase 1 in a chain of phases to slowly open the economy back up.
Several restrictions were lifted including ones on car dealerships, pet walkers, landscapers and car washes.
Businesses also started doing curbside pickup.
“Many customers have ordered gift baskets for Mother’s Day; they have been so supportive,” Matheson said.
Matheson says ideally customers pay before they pick up curbside so it’s easier to socially distance.
“It may go on for many, many months, but we are going to make our customers wear masks too,” Matheson said.
Customers like Alex Zitnik were excited to come back and support a local business.
“I am excited for things to open up in a safe manner, you know, here we see everyone wearing gloves and masks and sanitizing right in front of you,” Zitnik said.
That’s because Matheson cannot help being very concerned about what could be ahead.
“Other states are opening up early, many people aren’t following what they should be doing. I definitely see it, in the fall it could be worse,” Matheson said.
Despite the devastating damage to her business, Matheson says she supports the stay-at-home order.
“We feel blessed that Jay Inslee did the right thing that’s why our state is where it is we support him wholeheartedly, we believe in the scientists,” Matheson said.
Although curbside pickup kicked off, the state is still in the process of ironing out the best practices and rules during curbside pickups.