SACRAMENTO BUSINESSES PUSH BACK AGAINST TOUGH RULES
Sacramento businesses are pushing back against the county moving back to the most restrictive tier, urging the state to allow indoor modifications, according to KCRA 3 News.
In a letter to the state health officials, associations representing businesses across the city center asked the state to amend the tiered system to allow restaurants, museums and fitness industries to continue to operate indoors as they have been allowed to in the red tier.
“This has always been, we’ve been told, a data-driven decision as it relates to the categories and everything we are hearing, restaurants and small businesses, museums, are not the impact,” Michael Ault with the Downtown Sacramento Partnership said. “It’s nursing homes, it’s family gatherings, it’s social gatherings and events. So, we’re just asking for some real consideration understanding the impacts on businesses to allow them to continue to operate.”
The letter also included the Midtown Association and R Street Partnership. The three said they represent over 35% of the total restaurants in Sacramento and generate close to $200 million in retail sales per square mile.
“We just had our best October and we just hired a slew of people to come back because we were able to open indoor dining. And now we are going to have to lay them off,” Jerry Fat with the Fat Family Restaurant Group said.
Sacramento County said the recent increase in cases is linked to Halloween celebrations and long-term care facilities.
“It seems unfair that big business, like Costco and Home Depot and Walmart, they have hundreds of people going there every day,” Fat explained. “We would like to see some compromise. Not so much easing the restrictions, but at least giving small businesses a chance to survive.”
Gyms are also included in outdoor-only operations, which can be unpredictable or impractical due to winter weather.
“It’s something that we didn’t think was going to happen again. We have 17 locations here. We have eight that are now going to close for the third time since March,” Layne Luchte with Planet Fitness Natomas said. “Now we are having to furlough everyone again. It’s about over 150 employees.”
In addition to enhanced public health guidelines, Planet Fitness said it was operating indoors at 10% capacity.
“We would love to just sit down and just reevaluate the tiers. Give us a different restriction. Give us something that we can continue to at least operate.,” Luchte explained. “We just want to not have to do this yo-yo back and forth. We really would just like to find a place where we can just stay open.”
Crocker Art Museum will also close. The museum reopened about three weeks ago after being closed for seven months.