By: Amy Jo Underwood
A large group of small businesses in Larimer County, Colorado, have stated that they will not comply with new COVID-19 restrictions. Multiple areas of Colorado have been placed in the “red zone,” but the group of business owners stated in a press release that they cannot run their businesses under more strict restrictions. The governor of Colorado has threatened to revoke the business licenses of those who do not comply with the new restrictions.
According to the Denver Post, twenty-two counties in Colorado are in “level red.” In this category, most businesses can only operate at 25% capacity, indoor dining is not allowed, and offices and gyms must operate at 10% capacity.
A group of business owners in Larimer County announced that they would not follow the level red restrictions, and would continue to operate at the level yellow restrictions. Under level yellow, most businesses can operate at 50% capacity. According to the Denver Post, business owners held a press conference and wrote a letter stating their position. “As small business owners we employ thousands of residents...whose health you are jeopardizing by forcing them into unnecessary unemployment,” they stated.
The business owners further stated that these measures would have a drastic effect on the mental and economic health of the community. They stated that government policy was being made on wrong stats and false science, and that the facts of the situation were being manipulated into hurting small businesses while not affecting large corporations.
The governor of Colorado stated that if businesses do not comply with the level red restrictions, he will suspend or revoke their business licenses. His justification is that the health department is allowed to take the same action on businesses who do not take necessary steps to prevent foodborne illnesses.
“While COVID is not a death sentence for the majority of people who get it, this order will be for many Loveland businesses. ….
“These orders are no longer about public health, because if that were true, [the health department] would actually take the health of the whole community into account.” - Clay Caldwell, business owner in Loveland, Colorado.
Amy Jo Underwood writes from Alabama