Small Business Owners Lash Out at Massachusetts' Reopening Plan

Restaurant owners are upset that they can’t open for dine-in customers for at least three weeks

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Gov. Charlie Baker was right when he predicted not everyone would be happy with plans to reopen the Massachusetts economy.

Owners of small businesses around the state, concerned about their livelihoods amid the coronavirus pandemic, are saying Baker's incremental approach to restarting the economy could put them out of business.

In particular, restaurant owners -- still restricted to pickup and delivery service only -- are upset they can’t open for at least another three weeks, the earliest the second phase of Baker's four-phased reopening plan could begin.

Salons, on the other hand, can open as early as Monday and a lot of them are booking up quickly.

But there will be restrictions and owners will have to purchase protective equipment to keep staff and customers safe -- another cost of doing business in the age of COVID-19. 

"My day has been crazy. I have had a lot of emails and phone calls from clients, obviously very excited to get back in the door," said Grant Paquin of Cut-Splice Salon.

"We want to be safe, don't get me wrong, but there is a very accelerated costs to being safe."

"Rules, treating us like we're children. Stay six feet apart, wear a mask, hop on one foot scratch your nose - it's a joke," one owner said.

There's a lot of frustration and anger among businesses owners because, at this point, they say it’s just too hard to predict how things will work.

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