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Business and Economy

Customers Turn Out For Reopened Maine Businesses

Dogs and humans in need of a trim since last month turned out Friday to Maine's reopened grooming and stylist salons.

On a rainy day, those were among the most popular non-essential establishments Gov. Janet Mills allowed to reopen after she shut most down in an effort to stall the spread of COVID-19.

The owner of Falmouth's Soggy Dog grooming shop, Matthew Camp, said he started to chip away at a backlog of nearly 140 reservations, many of them poodle hybrids such as labradoodles, whose hair gets matted easily.

"Unfortunately when they get matted, we have to shave them down, so they come out looking a little shorter than the customers would have liked."

Still, customers are happy, Camp said. And he’s happy to be able to bring back his five person staff — some of whom were unable to secure unemployment checks through the government-imposed shutdown.

Hair salons also reported strong pent-up demand, although many were holding back with concerns that they were not yet prepared for close-up interactions with the public.

Other enterprises expanding public operations include auto dealerships, marinas and golf courses. Drive-in theaters in Maine have the option to open as well — with at least one planning to start screening movies a week from now.