Things have been very difficult here at Brothers K Coffee Shop in Evanston.
"We lost a lot of our staff when it first started," Elijah Knake of Brothers K Coffe Shop.
The shop also had to drastically cut their hours, but that all changes Friday.
"I think it will be nice to sort of be able to have people around for a longer period of time," Knake said.
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They are gearing up for Phase Three of Governor JB Pritzker's reopening plan, by making the most of their outdoor space.
"We are going to put maybe three or four tables outside with about two seats at each one, spread apart," Knake said. "We're going to set up some table markers so that people can stay out there for about 30 minutes and when they bring them back we can go outside and disinfect them."
Phase Three will allow customers to return for outdoor dining, with restrictions, including accommodating for social distancing.
Retail, barber shops, hair salons, and more are also gearing up to open.
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At Teddie Kossof salon in Northfield, hand sanitizer and a touchless temperature gauge will greet customers at the front door. That's when you can get an appointment.
The salon is already booked from Friday through the middle of July.
They're excited to get back to business.
"I've got butterflies, waiting for this day," said Alan Kossof. "It's been a long time."
Social distancing means limited capacity. They'll only use about half of the stations at a time, but they have plenty of personal protective equipment on hand. The salon even started producing their own hand sanitizer during the quarantine.
A number of communities, including Glen Ellyn, are closing down streets in the downtown area to add tables for outdoor restaurant seating.
Meanwhile, at Ala Carte Entertainment restaurants in the northwest suburbs, they already have large patios. But they'll have limited capacity to accommodate social distancing.
They're also stocked with hand sanitizer, paper-disposable menus and individually packaged condiments.
The changes are expensive, but for an ailing restaurant industry, it's the only way for many to stay afloat.
"At the end of the day, we're back baby, and excited to say hello to our customers and give them a place to go," said Mark Hoffman, of Ala Carte Entertainment.
The idea in Evanston is to get as creative as possible and make the most out of outdoor space, so local establishments can start generating revenue again.
"It's been devastating, so tomorrow is a big day," said Paul Zalmezak, Evanston economic development manager. "It's going to help a little bit, it's not going to solve any problems. We're talking about a handful of tables that you'll be able to have outdoors, but it's something."
That's not the case in nearby Chicago. Mayor Lori Lightfoot says businesses cannot open until June 3.
But she is expanding options by creating what's being called a "shared streets program using several streets as pathways to give people more room to walk, jog and bike.
READ: Mayor Lightfoot's full plan for reopening Chicago in early June
One of the areas is on the North Side, on Glenwood from Carmen to Howard. The 3.2 mile stretch will soon be used by pedestrians, bikes, and in some cases maybe even outdoor dining to encourage social distancing and get the city open again.