Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has announced that on Friday, May 29, Northern Virginia will enter phase one of his three phase reopening plan. Non-essential retail, outdoor dining at restaurants, and barber shops will all be able to reopen with some restrictions, among other changes that will have a positive effect on businesses throughout the state.

Over the last few months, the City of Manassas has been working hard to keep our businesses running despite the tight regulations. Historic Manassas, Inc. added a COVID-19 business support page to their website that listed all of the restaurants and shops that still are open and serving the public. The City of Manassas Economic Development Department ran many different online advertisements, promoting the support of our local businesses from a distance.

As a community, we have done a tremendous job of weathering this storm. Though it wasn’t easy, we came together and showed our businesses that we are willing to do what it takes to support them during difficult times. Though we’ve come so far, we are not done yet- the City of Manassas is starting a ‘Stronger Together’ campaign to promote the continued support of our restaurants and retail shops as we emerge from the heightened restrictions. As part of this new campaign, resources, tips, and other materials will be added to our constantly updated landing page. If you feel comfortable going out, please show some love for the businesses in our community- and if you are choosing to continue avoiding public spaces, there are plenty of ways you can show your support from a distance. Coincidentally, the reopening of businesses coincides with the end of Virginia Business Appreciation Month, a monthly celebration that takes place every May.

As our residents are gearing up to support our businesses in-person, our businesses are adding extra precautions to make sure they provide safe environments for our residents to shop and dine. CDC cleanliness guidelines for battling the spread of COVID-19  are going to be followed closely, and social distancing measures are going to continue. The CDC has also released a handy set of posters and signs to help businesses get back up and running while reminding their staff and patrons what steps must be taken to prevent the spread of disease. Right now, everyone has the same goal- to support businesses while making sure everyone stays safe and healthy.

Even though this is a reopening, it is still only phase one. When we show our support for our local businesses we must make sure we do it safely. Wearing face coverings, maintaining 6 feet or more from others, and washing your hands regularly are strongly encouraged. Gatherings over 10 people are still prohibited. It is up to us to continue stopping the spread of disease, otherwise we may end up returning to tighter restrictions.

Manassas is Stronger Together, and we’re glad you’re back!