Some businesses in California are now allowed to open with restrictions after new orders were handed down by Gov. Gavin Newsom last week.
But nail salons, tattoo shops, fitness studios, bars, wineries, entertainment venues all still considered nonessential. Some retail and manufacturing businesses can start up again with curbside pickup.
In Placer County, Wendy Gerig is head of the Roseville Area Chamber of Commerce. She says she appreciates that the state restrictions on businesses have been loosened a tad, but wonders how many people will drive to clothing stores to pick up pants to go.
The chamber is pushing for more businesses to open. Gerig recognizes that store owners will likely have to be the enforcers of the state orders, including recommendations on personal protective equipment, or risk a new surge of COVID-19 cases.
“In order to open they’ll need the proper protection, the supplies, and we’re not sure that business is going to be able to procure them,” Gerig says.
The new state order doesn’t allow Brian Bennett to open his restaurant to sit-down meals. For to-go orders, he requires anyone who steps inside Bennett Kitchen Bar Market in Roseville to wear a mask.
“It’s not the most convenient thing to do,” he says. “But the safe thing for us to do is that inside of Bennett’s that we’re doing everything we possibly can to stem the attack.”
He says business is down at least 60 percent since he was forced to close his dining room.
Barry Broome with the Greater Sacramento Economic Council is confident there will be enough gloves and facial coverings to allow more businesses to open, but they won’t do any good if customers continue violating the orders. He’s calling on law enforcement to cite and fine people who don’t practice social distancing.
“I do not think it’s a badge of courage to be reckless and not practice social distancing and not wear a mask and not wear gloves,” Broome says, while noting he’s been able to buy a large box of gloves online for about $5.
“My wife has underlying health issues. I have a pair in my car, a pair in my house,” Broome says. “I put on these simple gloves and I put on a mask and I walk out and I stay six feet away from people and I’m fine.”
Broome says Sacramento is well-positioned to recover economically from this, but that could take five years.
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