Savannah businesses react to mandatory mask order

Savannah businesses react to mandatory mask order

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - COVID-19 has deeply impacted area businesses.

As some are beginning to reopen, they now will need to follow the emergency order requiring masks.

With less than 24 hours until Savannah’s mask requirement goes into effect, we talked with local businesses about how they feel this new requirement might impact their stores.

“Honestly it doesn’t really affect us as far as business if people don’t want to come in because they don’t want to wear a mask then that’s too bad, but it’s good for everyone,” said Ian Carlisle, Part Owner of Carlisle of York.

“I hope they do come out and they feel safer by seeing everybody else in masks you know so I hope it’s just a cumulative thing that they understand why and they all do it,” said Gary Hall, owner of Wright Square Café.

Business owners say of all the challenges they are facing the mask requirement isn’t the toughest. They recently reopened after closing because of COVID-19 and are still facing tough financial times.

“It’s been tough, there’s just not a lot of people and when there are people they are not really trying to spend money because everyone is feeling the pain from struggling and not working,” said Carlisle.

Carlisle of York says they already have several safety guidelines for customers so the mask just adds to their safety. Despite their precautions they haven’t seen a huge surge in shoppers to their boutique.

Wright Square Café next door is in the same boat. They just reopened on weekdays and say business has been slow for their sandwiches and desserts.

“It’s extremely difficult we’re not making enough money to pay payroll, rent, luckily the landlord has been very generous and kind to us. Instead of making a batch of chicken salad I make a third of a batch of chicken salad or you know a quarter recipe of cookies. So, you just adapt and cut corners where you know you can,” said Hall.

Both business owners say they see just a portion of their customers wear masks now, but feel once people know more about the Mayor’s order they will listen and feel safe to come back and shop again.

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