West Middlesex businesses anxious for customers as Mercer Co. goes green

Coronavirus

When Mercer County goes green Friday, so will these small businesses

WEST MIDDLESEX, Pa. (WKBN) – The second round of counties in Pennsylvania are moving to the “green” reopening phase Friday.

A closed sign will soon come off the door of Cheri’s Cutting Edge salon in West Middlesex.

Cheri Schlegel closed March 16 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It was scary,” she said. “It was scary for all of us. I’ve never had to collect unemployment.”

Customers will see new guidelines, including waiting outside until their appointment. Customers and stylists must also wear masks.

“We’re a very small, close-knit shop and it’s going to be hard saying no where we never said no,” Schlegel said.

Everything has been scrubbed and sanitized. Customers will also notice new floors.

Schlegel opened her salon in 1994. She believes Friday will be just like that opening day.

“It’s going to be like the first day back. Just try to figure things out, and make it run as smooth as possible and make it easy for my customers.”

The first client at Cheri’s Cutting Edge will be there at 7 a.m.

Across town, Joe Walsh was grinding coffee at O’Neill Coffee Roasters. His business has been down 80% because it packages coffee for restaurants and offices.

“We were able to run, but we were slow just because nobody’s been able to go to restaurants or offices,” Walsh said. “A quarter staff, even though we were open. There wasn’t any demand.”

Now more people will start to move around.

O’Neill started in 1951. Walsh is a third-generation owner.

When Mercer County goes green, so does the business.

“We get to see people again — our customers are fantastic — and you get to talk to people. We haven’t had that chance,” Walsh said.

O’Neill opened for to-go orders Tuesday. Now it can also welcome people inside and reestablish relationships.

“We’re a people business as much as we are a coffee business and we’re lucky to have great customers,” Walsh said.

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