That “new normal” we’ve been hearing so much about for weeks is about to start.

Retail stores — even those that don’t sell food products --can reopen Wednesday with some restrictions.

Restaurants will be able to reopen their dining rooms on Friday, but will have to limit customers to one-third of seating capacity.

Outdoor dining, however, doesn’t have restrictions like that.

So, get ready to picnic — when it’s not raining.

On Memorial Day, hair salons and barbershops can reopen, along with massage therapy, nail salons, tanning salons and tattoo parlors.

And the hair places, at least, will be very busy, I’m sure.

• But some businesses won’t be reopening.

A sign on the door of Los Cabos Mexican Restaurant in Audubon Plaza Shopping Center — across from Moonlite Bar-B-Q Inn — says it is permanently closed.

TGI Friday’s made a similar announcement a few weeks ago.

• The days of being able to buy gas in Owensboro for less than $1 a gallon are over.

The lowest price in town on Friday morning was $1.45.

• There’s no doubt that Kentucky businesses have been hurt — some badly — by the pandemic.

But a U.S. Census study a few weeks ago says 46.1% of our businesses have suffered major damage.

As bad as that is, it’s 5.3% lower than the national average.

• Starbucks said last week that it has paid landlords in full during the pandemic.

But now, it’s asking property owners for rent relief through summer 2021.

Keith Lawrence, 270-691-7301

Keith Lawrence, 270-691-7301

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