Owners of restaurants, pubs and hairdressers in Leicester have spoken of their “relief” at being able to open for the first time since March.
Businesses which were preparing to open with the rest of England on 4 July were told on 29 June to remain shut as a local lockdown was announced.
At the end of last week it was announced some hospitality businesses in Leicester could reopen.
Restaurant owner Dharmesh Lakhani said he was “really happy” to get to work.
Mr Lakhani, who runs Bobby’s in the city’s Belgrave Road, is opening at midday and said he was worried it would take businesses in Leicester longer to recover because people would be reluctant to travel there due to the “stigma” of the local lockdown.
“Four-and-a-half months we have been shut. It is quite demoralising,” he said.
“We are already one month behind the rest of the country. That was the toughest part. It made us feel inadequate.”
However, although he said he believed it would be a “slow start”, he said he was “really, really excited to finally get a chance to open the business and get into some sort of routine and normality”.
Blake Edwards, of the Flappers and Gentlemen hair salon, will be opening on Tuesday for the first time since March.
He said he felt a “massive relief” at finally being able to open, adding he wanted to make people feel proud of Leicester again.
He said the lockdown had “cost the businesses immensely”.
“We know there is a rocky road ahead,” said Mr Edwards.
“We are happy but aware safety is the number one priority. We don’t want any more setbacks.”
He said as well as affecting the mental health of people working in Leicester, the lockdown had taken a toll on business owners like himself who had to go to bed “working out whether they can still carry on employing the team”.
He said: “You really have had to be mentally strong.”
He added he hoped the reopening of businesses would “hopefully start pushing Leicester in the direction it deserves”.
Sarah Gillett, manager of the Market Tavern, in Market Place, said the pub would be opening at 10:00 BST.
She said she felt “very relieved”, adding “it has been a long time coming”.
She said: “We don’t know how it is going to be. We don’t know whether people will still come out or be nervous.
“I don’t know how everyone is going to take the rules and regulations. If everyone does what they are told it will be fine.
“Alcohol and common sense don’t mix well but we don’t want to spoil anyone’s fun.
“I am a bit apprehensive but this time next week we will wonder what we were worried about, I’m sure.”