Mask mandates could impact local businesses

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT)– Bibb County Commissioners and business owners say the new mask mandates could be good for business.

Commissioners passed two mask mandates Tuesday, that will require everyone over 2-years-old to wear a mask in public where it would be impossible to socially distance. If caught without a mask, you could get fined up to $50 by the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office.

The mandates allow businesses the option to enforce wearing masks if they want. Commissioner Joe Allen voted in favor of the mandates, and says the new rules will benefit business owners.

“I think you’re going to see people still come downtown. I think you’re going to see that more people complain about getting parking tickets down here than you do about wearing a mask,” Allen stated.

Commissioner Valerie Wynn voted against the mask mandates, but says she supports wearing masks. However, she believes the new mandates will have no impact on local businesses.

“Businesses already require it, and they have the right to do that,” Wynn stated. “They have the right to tell their customers to wear masks, and that’s fine. That’s where it takes care of itself because the businesses can do it without the government telling them they need to do it.”

Owner of Tommy’s Bakery and Cafe in Macon, Tommy Sadler, says he’s trying to avoid arguments and keep his business going.

“I’m going to try to stay neutral and let the customer dictate what’s best for them,” Sadler said. “I don’t want to be the mask police to tell somebody they can’t come in.”

Sadler says as a COVID-19 survivor, he encourages people to wear masks and keep their distance. He understands people’s concern on going out during the pandemic, but says he hopes the new mandates will help people feel more comfortable.

“I think people will go out now. Those that have not gone out at all, I think they’ll go out now knowing that things will be a little safer,” Sadler said.

This ordinance will stay in place until September 10. That’s the end of Governor Brian Kemp’s latest executive order.  Bibb County Commissioners want to see case numbers decrease from over 500 cases per 100,000 people to 100 cases per 100,000.

Categories: Bibb County, Featured, Local News

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