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Gaston County businesses cancel reopening plans amid clash between state, local leaders

The state allowed some businesses to reopen provided they follow social distancing and sanitation guidelines

BELMONT, N.C. — A handful of Gaston County businesses canceled plans to reopen Friday following a clash between state and local leaders.

Carolina Speedway and Loray Athletic Club were among the latest businesses to nix their plans following Gaston County Commissioner Tracy Philbeck's Wednesday announcement that the county was reopened for business.

However, Governor Roy Cooper's stay-at-home order is still in effect, which supersedes any county declaration.

Cherryville Police shut down De Ja Vu Consignment Shop after it briefly reopened Thursday in defiance of Gov. Cooper's order.

The shop's owner reopened Friday for pick-up and drop-off only.

However, the state allowed some businesses to reopen Friday to the public with social distancing requirements.

Hollywood Fit reopened after the state Department of Revenue designated the gym an "essential" business.

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Owner Darron Glenn said he got the designation because he has a meal service for his clients who have specific nutrition needs.

Everyone working out at the gym must wear a mask and have their temperature checked at the door.

"I think it's a wonderful thing that businesses have to get going," Glenn said, "A lot of us, we don't have any income coming in."

Catawba River Antique Mall reopened Friday after using the quarantine period to do renovations.

Owner CJ Vandiver said they also wanted to be considerate and reopen when COVID-19 numbers dropped in the region.

"We're not saying [to] take unnecessary risks," Vandiver said. "But, [the] economy is important too."

RELATED: Confusion ensues after Gaston County leaders say businesses could reopen despite state Stay at Home order

RELATED: Despite repeat complaints, some businesses avoid formal COVID-19 enforcement

The antique mall installed Plexiglas dividers at the registers, created one-way aisles, and cleaned shopping carts after every use.

Across the border in Lincoln County, the state denied an "essential"  business designation for Stroup Jewelers, but owner Lesley Chapman said the state still allowed her to reopen as long as she practiced social distancing.

"It's been great," Chapman said. "People are really respectful of the rules that we have."


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