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Ames businesses maintain safety protocols amid eased restrictions

More than two weeks after Governor Kim Reynolds eased COVID-19 restrictions for business, locals business still strive to keep customers safe.

AMES, Iowa — Early February, Governor Kim Reynolds eased COVID-19 guidelines across the state by removing mask mandates and restrictions on the size of indoor and outdoor gatherings.

"I'm saying, I trust Iowans to do the right thing, and I trust our businesses to do the right thing," said Governor Reynolds during a press conference on February 10.

With her announcement, the governor drew national attention and a mix of reactions from not only Iowans but other across the country.

But what has that meant for your local business?

To find out, Local 5 stopped by a few shops in Ames.

At Stomping Grounds, not much has changed since restrictions were lifted.

"It was always known, but definitely stated, that we would be following CDC guidelines regardless of the decision by our governor," said Tracie-Lynn Lamoreux, manager of the coffee shop.

She said, right now, that's what's best for business.

"People are comfortable coming here because they know we take the guidelines super seriously," Lamoreux said.

At Z.W. Mercantile, which opened during the pandemic, it's really business as usual.

"This is a small enough space.  This is a small enough staff that we have to be as safe as possible, so we are still requiring masks and asking that people maintain a six foot social distance in the store," said Brie Walker, manager at the store specializing in eco-friendly products for the home.

At Café Beaudelaire, owner Claudio Gianello is trying to find a balance.

"That's what we're doing-playing by the rules and trying the best we can," he said.

He said he continues to ensure customers are wearing face coverings when they walk in the door, so that he can ease back to full capacity.

"Actually, it helped out quite a bit. We're able to sit at the bar…customers can sit at the bar, so bartenders are happy, so they're making tips," Gianello said, whose employees have been hit hard during the pandemic.

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