RIVERSIDE (CBSLA) — Some business owners are frustrated about California’s decision to put a daily curfew into place from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
“(I’m) extremely concerned,” said Rex Richey, a restaurant owner.
Richey opened The Lobby just seven days before the shutdown in March.
In its short life, his Riverside restaurant-bar has been closed, partially opened, moved dining outside, and now faces a new curfew that presents a massive financial challenge.
“When we went from inside to outside, the first week saw a $15,000 loss in sales,” Richey said.
While some businesses normally close around the curfew time, they say the hour or two they’ll lose could drastically impact their business success because of the customer boost they get during late-night hours.
His neighbors at Retro Taco say they have an answer to that and it’s not good:
“It’s gonna affect it about 80 percent,” said Shelby Worthington-Loomis of Retro Taco.
Some people have begun pushing back against the new curfew guidelines, like a group of protesters in Huntington Beach on Saturday night.
Others claim their issue is that the policy may not be effective.
“COVID isn’t any more rampant after 10 than it is before as long as we’re doing our job as business owners,” Worthington-Loomis said.
Health officials say the justification for the curfew is that they hope to prevent late-night gatherings and late-night drinking, which can lead to people being less careful and potentially spreading the virus.
Despite the argument from health experts, many business owners aren’t buying it and insist that responsible businesses and customers have adapted to the pandemic.
“Everyone has abided, we haven’t had a problem,” Worthington-Loomis said.
While there may have been compliance on a smaller level, on a wide-scale, but the case numbers are increasing at alarming rates.
California set a record with more than 13,000 cases a day three times this week.