As Black Friday approaches, retailers lobby states to stay open
November 21, 2020 at 19:43
It has been up to city and state officials in the pandemic to define which businesses are "essential" and can remain open during Covid-related shutdowns.
Businesses critical to maintaining citizens' basic needs — health care services, grocery stores, home improvement stores and gas stations, for example — were declared essential early on.
for example, was deemed a "non-essential" business at the onset of the pandemic and closed its stores.
The retailer lost sales to businesses that sold groceries and other everyday items like, which were allowed to remain open.
Retail groups say it is unfair to require some stores to close while allowing others remain open based on what they sell.
Some public health experts are mixed about whether clothing stores and others should close as the pandemic worsens in the United States.
Wael Al-Delaimy, an epidemiologist at the University of California San Diego, said that non-essential retailers should shut down because the pandemic is worse than it was in the spring.
For now, most local and state leaders have not required retailers they once designated as non-essential to close, say retail leaders.
New Mexico, however, has become a flash point in new rules around which businesses can stay open.
Michelle Lujan Grisham and state health officials on Wednesday announced that the state was requiring essential retailers to limit capacity to no more than 75 customers inside or 25% of maximum occupancy until Nov. 30.
These essential retailers include grocery stores, supermarkets, farmers' markets, convenience stores, and other businesses that generate more than one-third of their revenue from food, auto and bike repair shops, hardware stores, laundromats and others.
Retailers that do not meet these requirements are not allowed to have customers inside.