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Gaslight Village retailers excited to reopen under Governor's order

Posted at 3:15 PM, May 26, 2020

EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Retailers in Gaslight Village in East Grand Rapids say they are excited and optimistic to partially reopen Tuesday under Governor Whitmer's order.

There are dozens of businesses in the shopping center that have been closed for months and are sitting on a lot of inventory they are eager to sell.

The owner of Blackbird East, 2166 Wealthy Street SE, Debbie McGonigal, is also the president of the Gaslight Village Business Association who says she and other retailers are having major sales to hopefully sell more of the inventory that has been piling up.

Shoppers can expect some different rules under the Governor's order including shopping by appointment only, only 10 customers allowed inside, plus expecting to wear a mask, use hand sanitizer, and social distancing.

Business owners can deny your business if you do not comply but mostly business owners like Debbie at Blackbird East say they are just excited to see the community again and slowly but surly get back to normal.

"I don't know what the next couple of months are going to look like nor does anybody else, like I said I know this community, you know, is hopeful and projects that kids will have a graduation at the end of the summer and, but it will take time and I think that everybody is also very optimistic or realistic about that," said Debbie McGonigal, owner of Blackbird East and President of Gaslight Village Business Association

McGonigal says she does not expect business to pick up immediately, but she says she's already booked several appointments for this week. She also says her first priority is still the health of everybody, so if you want to stay home, stay home.

If you decide to make an in-person shopping appointment, she wants you to be assured she and other retailers are taking all of the steps they can to make it as safe as possible.