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Retail business owners frustrated with Mayor Young's lack of response on Phase 2

Posted at 5:35 PM, Jun 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-09 07:34:45-04

BALTIMORE — On Wednesday, Governor Larry Hogan lifted several coronavirus-related restrictions, effective 5 p.m. Friday. The order allows for many nonessential businesses to reopen, including retailers.

But in Baltimore City, as of Thursday evening, there are no plans to enter into Phase 2.

When asked about the city's plans during a press conference Mayor Jack Young told members of the media he would comment Friday. That did not go over well with people watching the presser online.

Watching was Beth Hawks owner of Zelda Zen in Fells Point. She voiced her frustration.

"He said, 'We’re gonna talk about that tomorrow.' It was so disrespectful to the thousands of small businesses throughout Baltimore City that have been closed for 81 days."

Last week Hawks watched as restaurants were given the green light to allow outdoor dining. She's even watched large crowds go into big boxed stores. She wants to be open along side them.

"We pay taxes, we have bills, we have families," she said. "We have been left out of the discussion. We are not in this together, we have been left out."

While Non-essential businesses in the city are allowed to operate with curb-side delivery, many feel it's not enough to stay afloat.

Susannah Siger, owner of Ma Petite Shoe in Hampden has been relying on on-line sales. She said it's helped some.

"It's another tool," said Siger.

While others are anxious for Phase 2, Siger has made the decision not to re-open when the time comes. She said she supports those in the neighborhood who'll welcome customers back.

"We’ve been helping each other here in Hampden to get ready and prepare for the next phase," she said.

It's still unclear if the mayor will allow retailers to open tomorrow. The last thing businesses want is to be given the okay at the last minute. Beth Hawks said she'd like to be ready in advance.

"Open up Baltimore. We need salons, spas, nail salons. We need Jack Young to say he is agreement with Larry Hogan today."