Business leaders react to Safer at Home order extension

NOW: Business leaders react to Safer at Home order extension

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The Safer at Home order extension means bars, restaurants, and many other businesses that are already struggling will be closed for a month longer. 

"It certainly has had a major impact," said Nancy Bush, the Executive Director for the Historic Mitchell Street Business Improvement District. 

She says about 50 to 60 percent of their businesses are temporarily closed right now. She worries what the extension will mean for them. 

"The smaller businesses, the family-owned or one owner type of business, ya know my concern is whether they will be able to return full service or the level of business they had once they are able to reopen," said Bush. 

"I think for the most we want to make sure we are doing things that are providing a safe environment for our customers, our employees, and we think we can do that. Other businesses are effectively doing that today and there haven't been any problems," said Scott Stenger, spokesperson for the Tavern League of Wisconsin. 

He says he believes there are several things bars, restaurants, and supper clubs could do to open in a safe manner. 

"Having employees wear masks, rubber gloves, we don't need to use menus, it can be electronic, we can limit the number of people in an establishment, have six feet between bar stools, have six feet between tables, allow for outdoor consumption, all of those things, restrict hours of operation. It is going to be the death now for our membership and the hospitality of this state's economy," he said. 

"We know this needs to happen to make sure the curve is flat and that people are safe and this doesn't exacerbate health care or any members of our community, but it's really disheartening to have this go forward, "said Liz Brodek, executive director with The East Side and Downer Avenue Business Improvement Districts, "But we also know what doesn't kill us makes us stronger."

Brodek says while this has been tough on businesses, they've also received a ton of support. 

"It honestly makes me tear up, just the best of humanity in the toughest of times."

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