Small businesses feeling impacts of local state of emergency

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Macon-Bibb is now under a local state of emergency which started at 5:15 Monday evening.

Downtown Macon looks quite different during lunch hour because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many restaurants are strictly doing pick up and curbside services.

Mayor Robert Reichert says people and other businesses are not following the Center for Disease Control’s recommendations of social distancing.

“Since Thursday, it’s evident that far too many of us are not taking this virus seriously enough,” Reichert said.

Far this reason, Mayor Reichert declared a local state of emergency and the closure of non-essential businesses. This includes gyms, salons, malls, and movie theaters.

Necessities like grocery stores and hospitals will remain open. Restaurants can still do pick up, curbside service, or drive-thru.

“It is put in place with knowledge that it will be a serious challenge for our families,” Reichert said. “It will do financial damage to businesses that close and constitute an impairment of commerce of all types, but it is essential to prevent the spread of the virus.”

Those feeling the impacts the most — small businesses.

Brent Meyer with 7th Street Salvage says the hardest thing to do was to let some of his employees go.

“We didn’t know if there was going to be a business to come back to if we didn’t start making some changes,” Meyer said.

However, Meyer says he’s trying to focus on the good — unity.

“I have noticed a lot of resilience even in the face of uncertainty. One of the things I found comforting is the community has reached out,” Meyer said.

The declaration has taken effect and goes until April 6 at 11:59 p.m.