Limbo continues for some businesses

Limbo continues for some businessesThe Historic USO Building, popular gathering spot and home of the classic summer movie series, leaves a pithy and light-hearted reminder about its closure. According to early interpretation of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s four-stage plan to reopen California businesses after COVID-19 closures, the building will reopen during the third stage. However, as Stage 2 begins today, many proprietors express confusion about who qualifies as well as concern about those whose financial hardship will be worsened by the prolonged delay for ineligible businesses. “It has been a very frustrating time for our membership — and for us, too,” said Ridgecrest Chamber of Commerce Executive Officer Tim Smith. He said that the chamber staff and board have been unable to offer insight into the governor’s plan — which still had no guidance documentation available to the public at press time. Many individual owners have found some criteria that offers a justification for their operations while others flounder in the grey area. Many proprietors have also expressed concern that following the letter of the governor’s orders carry severe financial consequences with no relief. “The general sentiment from our businesses is that if the state is requiring them to cease operations, there has to be a clear provision that will allow them to survive a prolonged period of closure,” said Smith. “I look forward to hearing more information so we can continue to advise our members and community.” - Photo by Rebecca Neipp

Story First Published: 2020-05-08