In addition to the economic hardships caused by the coronavirus pandemic, restaurants in the United States are fighting against Democratic authorities who, with their restrictive measures, are leaving them on the verge of closure.
This Monday, December 21st, it was learned that Minnesota officials notified three restaurants in the state that they will face a 60-day liquor license suspension after violating Democratic Gov. Timothy James Walz’ restrictions on the coronavirus.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s Division of Alcohol and Gaming Control notified establishments that they would face a hearing before a judge, after which their licenses could be reinstated.
“COVID-19 protocols are designed to slow the spread of this virus and reduce the impacts of this pandemic,” said Minnesota Department of Health Assistant Commissioner Dan Huff.
According to Fox News, The Cornerstone Café, The Interchange and The Pour House were serving customers in the interior of their restaurants in violation of the governor’s executive order.
The health department also announced that it had issued cease and desist orders to The Pizza Depot at Becker and Hooligans Lakeside in Lake Park, WCCO TV reported.
In addition, four other establishments have already faced similar suspensions, with the threat of a total suspension of five years if they violate the regulations again.
Democratic Gov. Walz’s order bans indoor dining on the premises; and as of Saturday, restaurants can seat customers only outdoors at half capacity with a maximum of 100 people and no more than four people per table.
In New York, something similar is happening. Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo reinstated the ban on eating inside restaurants; a measure that left food establishments in jeopardy.
Cuomo gave the order despite opposition from the restaurant sector, which warned that there would be layoffs during the Christmas season; and it also occurs when the winter weather has begun to arrive in the city and the outdoor tables will be much less popular considering the icy winds and eventual snowfall.
According to Fox Business, 62% of small business owners fear the worst is yet to come with the economic impact of COVID-19 and only 40% said they believe their small businesses can operate indefinitely in the current business environment.
Neil Bradley, policy director for the Chamber of Commerce, reported that the quarterly survey found that 14% of small businesses are planning to downsize.
Florida: the light at the end of the tunnel
As cities like New York radicalize measures and confinements at the height of the holiday season, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis pledged to keep the state’s economy alive and announced that restaurants will remain fully open.
DeSantis said he will not allow the hotel industry to close completely as in other states, which imposed strict restrictions on indoor dining.
“We support you if you are a waitress, a cook or a family business, you are an important part of our state,” DeSantis said.
DeSantis reported that, according to the studies, COVID-19 is widespread in homes where family gatherings take place, with only 1.4% of cases being traced to bars and restaurants.
“Closing a restaurant to dine indoors is going to lead to more people doing it in private homes anyway,” he added.
DeSantis has let its citizens decide how to deal with the coronavirus pandemic without affecting Florida’s economy. In September, when he issued an executive order, he said that one should “avoid trying to penalize people for not distancing themselves socially and working with people in a constructive way.”
The governor said he would never again carry out any business closures and lifted major restrictions in the state, in addition to suspending fines for violating local protocols on the wearing of masks.
“As an act of grace by the executive, all pending fines and penalties that have been applied to individuals have been suspended,” DeSantis announced in September.
“New York’s restaurant-killing rules make no sense — and it keeps getting worse,” said New York Post columnist Karol Markowicz, who explained point by point why the measures taken by Governor Andrew Cuomo are absurd.
“Orders for takeout could only be placed via email or telephone. Most shockingly, patrons dining at a restaurant’s outdoor seating area couldn’t use the restroom inside,” she explained. She added that “ddestroying the restaurant industry isn’t going to stop the spread of the coronavirus — and was never going to.”
Markowicz’s writing coincides with a report by the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER) that notes that “lockdowns do not control the coronavirus.”
In the document, the agency showed that several studies indicate that “there is no relationship between the lockdowns and the control of the virus.”
“The virus will do what viruses do, as always in the history of infectious diseases. We have extremely limited control over them, and what we have is linked to time and place. Fear, panic, and coercion are not ideal strategies for controlling viruses. Medical intelligence and therapeutics work much better,” the report states.