A yoga studio in Massachusetts is considering a lawsuit against the City of Somerville after it twice delayed the start of Phase 3 of Governor Charlie Baker's economic reopening plan.
Business has dropped off some 60-percent at be. In Union Yoga since the coronavirus pandemic forced the studio in Union Square to shut down and turn to virtual training only.
“It’s not going to work out very well if we don’t open soon,” said co-owner Jaclyn Kryzak. “Heartbreaking and potentially disastrous for us.”
The studio was hoping to reopen at the beginning of July when the rest of the state allowed Phase 3 businesses to get back to work.
But in Somerville, Phase 3 has been delayed twice.
“This is a woman-owned business, minority-owned business, gay-owned business,” said co-owner Blanca Alcaraz. “I want the city to really put their money where their mouth is to support everything that they say they do.”
The owners say a lawsuit could force a reopening.
“I’m going to do whatever it takes,” said Kryzak. “Even if it’s a little bit of a public shaming or some backlash from the city.”
In a statement about a potential lawsuit, the city’s director of health and human services Doug Kress, said: “The virus is raging in other states that reopened too quickly, and Phase 3 businesses are among those believed to pose the greatest risk. At the same time, we’re seeing a potentially concerning uptick in local and regional case counts and a decline in confidence in the state’s contact tracing program."
"Our Phase 3 businesses have made extraordinary sacrifices for the common good and we’d like nothing more than to get them open, we are just pressing pause to ensure the health data is still heading the right way before we take this step," his statement read. "Our goal is to protect public health, keep moving forward, and avoid a new surge that could force businesses to re-close and schools not to physically open this fall.”
Alcaraz says it's not personal.
“I know everyone in the city,” she said. “It’s nothing against them personally, but business is business.”
Phase 3 in Somerville is set to begin in two more weeks on Aug. 3, though even that could be delayed. Mayor Joe Curtatone will make the call based on a number of factors.