Busy first day back thanks to loyal customers
BUSINESS owners around Airlie Beach were pleasantly surprised as they opened their shops for the first time in over a month yesterday with residents dropping by to show their support.
Coronavirus restrictions were lifted at midnight on Friday meaning non-essential shopping is now permitted.
While restrictions on travel still remain, co-owner of Court and Spark boutique Rose Wildy said their first day trading was busy thanks to loyal customers.
"We've had a lot of locals come in like our regular girls and everyone's spending," she said.
"It's been a really great day, everyone's been really positive about it."
Ms Wildy said she was "excited" when she heard restrictions would be eased but would "play it day by day" over the next few weeks.
"We were ready to come back and we really wanted to open the store, but we were also hesitant to see what it was going to be like and if people would want to come out and shop," she said.
"I think until the restaurants and cafes can operate to their full ability again it will be quiet, but it's been really positive today and quite surprising as well.
"It's nice to see people out and about."
Over the road at Airllywood, owner Mary-Anne Sullivan was also happy to see familiar faces throwing their support behind businesses in town.
"We're loving being back and it's really nice to see our locals coming in because now we're 100 per cent reliant on local trade," she said.
"Everyone wants to get back to normality I think and for us that's opening the shop."
Ms Sullivan said she looked forward to welcoming tourists to the area when the airport reopened and in the meantime was "testing the water" over the coming weeks.
Airllywood are also gearing up to relocate to Pavilion Arcade next month.
Both Court and Spark Boutique and Airllywood are holding sales and looked forward to welcoming customers back into their stores.