Kansas City mask mandate worries small businesses
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – “Masks Required” signs pop-up on businesses across Kansas City, Missouri and North Kansas City. Owners said they’ve been forced back into a challenging position after an already tough year.
“Technically if we don’t follow it, they can just close us and that really is not something that we can afford to do,” Co-owner of A Store Named Stuff Casey Simmons said.
Owners could get their license revoked if they don’t follow the rules.
People ages five and older are now required to wear masks indoors in Kansas City, Missouri and North Kansas City.
Simmons is not looking forward to, once again, policing people.
“It’s mandated by the city. I don’t have a choice. I can’t give you the choice right now,” Simmons said. “So, what I would love is if you would go ahead and wear your mask and do that kindly. And do that for all your small businesses in any mandated area.”
Some owners are concerned customers will shop outside city limits.
Simmons knows her unique inventory will keep loyal customers, but she worries for the other small stores.
“It’s terrifying,” Courtney Vandendaele said.
She owns Textured Décor Boutique in Liberty where there is not a mask mandate right now.
Vandendaele hopes requirements don’t spread to other cities in Clay County.
“I feel like when the mask mandates do happen, the small businesses are the first to get the blame and people take it out on us,” Vandendaele said.
They opened Textured a year ago in March. Ten days later, they were told to shut down because of the pandemic.
“It’s definitely going to affect business, especially the businesses who are already hurting so much right now,” Vandendaele said.
The small shops that didn’t close during the pandemic are just trying to hang in there.
“My sister, my team will continue to rise to the occasion whatever that looks like,” Simmons said, “and hopefully by doing that we get to stay around.”
The mask requirement includes all Kansas City, Missouri.
If you live in Jackson, Clay or Platte Counties and do not live in Kansas City or North Kansas City, then you are not affected by the mandate.
The requirement in both of those cities lasts until at least August 28, 2021.
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