Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn wrote a letter to California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday urging him to allow smaller retail businesses statewide to reopen under the same health protocols that “essential” retail businesses — such as Target, Home Depot and Costco — have been allowed to operate under. Read the letter below.
Hahn — whose district stretches from Marina del Rey in the north to San pedro in the South to Diamond Bar in the east — said that decisions that seemed necessary as the virus spread have created “winners and losers,” widely impacting smaller retailers. “This needs to change,” the veteran legislator wrote.
Her letter continued as follows:
“Retailers across my district that have been deemed “non-essential” have been baffled that they have only been permitted to reopen for curbside pickup while “essential” businesses like Target and Walmart have been fully operational with in-store shopping. Many of these small businesses are not set up for online orders and curbside pickup has not been a good fit for them. They want to reopen for in-store shopping in a way that protects the health of their employees and customers, and I have heard from nearly all of the 27 cities that I represent about ways to support them in doing this.”
The supervisor proposed updating the state’s public health order to immediately allow all retailers to open with limited customer capacity, a face covering or mask requirement for employees and customers and physical distancing.
“If these measures are working to keep essential retail businesses like Target, Home Depot, and Costco open and safe, they can certainly be applied to all retailers,” Hahn maintained.
She said that these moves are necessary as retail reopens and officials are “balancing the economic needs of our state’s businesses with the stark reality that the virus is still with us.”
It seems, however, not all L.A. County Supervisors are as enthusiastic about the idea.
Supervisor Hilda Solis, when asked about Hahn’s propsal at the county’s daily COVID press conference today, stressed that there was a learning curve for bog box stores in terms of PPE and social distancing. She foresees there may be a similar process for smaller retailers in the county,
“When we started in this COVID pandemic,” said Solis, whose district stretches from Silverlake to Clairmont, abutting Hahn’s much of the way. “It took a while to get that going. And it’s gonna to take a lot more time, even, for our smaller businesses to get there.”
“I wish that we could speed things up,” said Solis, “but I would be very remiss if I were to say that. Because we have to follow along the lines that we are proscribed by the governor of California. And I thik that we want to adhere to that as best we can.”