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Owner of Wheat Ridge skincare business is unsure what future looks like as Colorado starts to reopen

Posted at 6:56 AM, Apr 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-28 22:27:00-04

WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. — Ella Cressman owns a small skincare business in Wheat Ridge and says she needs to open sooner than later.

Her business savings dry up in about a month. With Jefferson County extending the stay-at-home order, the earliest she'll be able to open is May 8. She said she's chomping at the bit to get back to normal but is also cautious.

"I want to go back to work, but I want to go back to work safely," Cressman said. "I want to protect myself, my family, my clients and their families."

As of right now, Cressman is a little confused. She said lack of guidance is making her nervous.

"Our regulatory board has said nothing. No communication," she said. "Am I a salon? Am I a spa? That designation isn’t clear to me."

A lot of her services require in-your-face interaction. That brings up another concern.

"We are trained to assume everyone has some sort of contagious disease and we clean accordingly, but we’ve given all those supplies up to the hospitals," she said. "When we go back to work, where do we get them from? Is there going to be a price hike? I have so many questions."

Cressman's boutique has tight quarters. She will have to regulate how many people are inside at one time. Cressman said that will also affect her business.

"Do we increase our prices? We’re not going to be able to see as many clients," she said. "We'll have to have buffers for cleaning. That means we'll see less people per day."

Even with all the uncertainty, Cressman is staying positive and leaning on her regular customers.

"I'm lucky because I still have a loyal clientele that still checks in," she said.

Cressman is getting some much needed help from the city of Wheat Ridge. She was one of 99 business owners who received a small business grant through the city's $250,000 Business Stabilization Program.