The owners of more than 350 restaurants, shops, and other small businesses in Arizona have signed a letter pledging not to reopen yet because of the coronavirus pandemic, despite the gradual loosening of public health restrictions. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports.
The businesses listed on the website “Too Soon Arizona” span the state from Flagstaff to Bisbee. A letter posted on the site states that lifting the stay at home order, as planned on Friday, will accelerate COVID-19 cases and deaths. The letter writers say “proceeding incautiously with the reopening of businesses will worsen human suffering in our communities and prolong the negative impact this pandemic is having on small businesses & the economy.”
A recent survey from Northern Arizona University shows half of the businesses in Coconino County and Sedona have had to lay off or furlough employees during the pandemic.
This week the State of Arizona allowed dine-in restaurants to reopen as long as they follow physical distancing guidelines. Retail shops, beauty salons, and gyms are also allowed to operate again. The state has topped 12,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19.