Lillian Boyd and Shawn Raymundo, Dana Point Times

Beth Oas, owner of Lingerie Paradis, USA in Dana Point, knew she needed to adapt to hardships that California’s stay-at-home order would impose on her business.

She reconfigured her business plan, continued to implement social media to promote the brand and hustled to make a website for her business, which specializes in high-end lingerie, sleepwear and loungewear.

“I had always thought about making a website,” said Oas. “But I’ve always directed my passion and attention to being in the store, interacting with customers and providing them with a special experience. I didn’t want to be glued to a computer and handling shipping orders when I could be building one-on-one relationships with customers.”

That has changed. Now, lingerieparadisusa.com has launched, and customers can order online or schedule private shopping appointments. Oas wears a mask at all times and has a sanitizing station set up to adhere to health and safety measures.

Beth Oas has made modifications to her business plan for Lingerie Paradis, USA in order for customers to safely shop for loungewear, sleepwear and lingerie. Photo: Lillian Boyd

Similarly, Hobie Surf Shop in Dana Point is offering curbside pickup and “personal shopping.” A modified cashier counter is set up at the door to allow for convenient order pickups.

“We have our online shopping up and running like we did before, but we’re willing to work with customers to show them a variety of items they might like, in person, when they arrive,” said Christa Lapes, a manager at Hobie. “Before, a customer could walk around if they were gift-shopping or trying different looks out. If you give us a call, let us know what you’re looking for, and we’ll have several items picked out for you to choose from.”

Christa Lapes, Hobie Surf Shop manager, says staff is “incredibly grateful for the community support” and eagerly awaits the day customers are permitted to shop inside the storefront again. Photo: Lillian Boyd

This past weekend, California moved into the second phase of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s reopening plan—the four-stage road map to gradually reopen businesses and soften the state’s stay-at-home restrictions.

Under Stage 2, low-risk workplaces such as retailers, manufacturers and warehouses were permitted to reopen with certain modifications, or limitations. For retailers, that meant offering delivery and curbside pickup services similar to Hobie Surf Shop.

In a press release from the governor’s office on Friday, May 8, Newsom said he moved the state into Stage 2, because “Californians, working together, have flattened the curve.”

“Because of that work, our health data tells us that California can enter the next stage of this pandemic and gradually begin to restart portions of our economy,” Newsom said in the release.

As of Wednesday, May 13, California had exceeded 70,000 cumulative positive coronavirus cases, with nearly 3,000 related deaths, according to the California Department of Public Health. Roughly 3,300 people currently afflicted with the virus were being treated in a hospital.

Per the governor’s road map, counties could move further along into Stage 2 by allowing dine-in restaurants, malls, office buildings and outdoor museums to reopen—if they can show there have been no reported deaths related to the coronavirus and have had a rate of one case per 10,000 people within a two-week period.

Other caveats would require any county to demonstrate that it has increased testing capacity, meeting a daily minimum of 1.5 tests per 1,000 residents, and has the ability to temporarily house at least 15% of the their homeless population.

More than 1 million people in the state had been tested for the virus as of Wednesday. Close to 54,770 of those tested reside here in Orange County, which has a population of roughly 3.22 million.

The number of cumulative positive cases in Orange County had reached 3,749 as of May 13, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency.

On Tuesday, May 12, the county had reported 62 new cases since the previous day. The county’s hospitals were treating 230 individuals who had contracted the virus, including 100 in ICUs. There was one new reported death on Tuesday, increasing the total to 77.

As retail businesses in Dana Point are beginning to open their doors to customers for pickup purchases, the Dana Point Chamber of Commerce advocates for a return to economic activity in accordance with public health and safety and in adherence to County of Orange and State of California directives.

Retail businesses were permitted to reopen on Friday, May 8, to allow for curbside pickup per Gov. Newsom’s announcement.

“In an effort to provide additional direction and compliance guidance, Chamber staff have created a ‘Back in Business’ toolkit available to their membership and local businesses,” said Vickie McMurchie, executive director for the Chamber.

The purpose of the Back in Business Toolkit is to help business owners get the information they need in order to safely and proactively prepare for reopening, McMurchie said. It also provides recommendations as to what steps should be taken to put them on the best path of success.

“Businesses in Dana Point and beyond are more than eager to get back to business and welcome back their loyal customers, and to do so in a responsible manner,” McMurchie said.

She adds that Chamber staff has been in constant communication with their members and that she was motivated to get this toolkit created after hearing from multiple business owners that they were looking for clear, consistent guidance as to what the next steps look like for them.

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