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Greenwood businesses react to city mask ordinance

Some business owners in Uptown Greenwood are frustrated with the city’s passing of a mandatory mask ordinance. Others are optimistic it won’t hurt sales.

“I’m a little disappointed,” said Taylor Tucker, manager of Thayer’s Furniture and Fine Gifts in Uptown Greenwood.

Tucker said she offers masks to customers and sanitizes pens, door handles when customers leave.

“I want for people to feel comfortable,” Tucker said.

Tucker said most of the customers on Friday that came into her store were not wearing masks.

She, along with other business owners in Uptown, didn’t feel like the mask ordinance will drive business into the county, where there is no mask mandate.

“I don’t feel like it is a disadvantage,” Tucker said. “Uptown is unique.”

Carol Clements, owner of Rudd’s Camera and Video, agreed.

“I don’t see that this is going to be a disadvantage,” Clements said. “I think this is probably what it’s going to take to get this under control.”

Clements said it would be a better scenario if the county made a similar move to level the playing field.

For Jessica Pinson at Sweet Teas Children’s Boutique, how the community fares during this time is a concern.

“Most of us want to do what is right,” Pinson said. “Anything we can do to take care of the community.”

She said there will be people who don’t want to shop wearing a mask but options such as her online store and curbside pickup are still available.

For restaurant owners, new challenges have emerged with the city’s mask ordinance.

“I was personally panicking,” said Buenavista Cuban Café owner Niria Abadia. “This is family-owned and operated.”

Abadia was first concerned about whether her children, who are often at the restaurant, would be required to wear masks.

The city’s mask ordinance does not require children 10 years old and younger to wear masks.

She said she bought a case full of masks to offer customers who did not have a mask to wear. She also said she isn’t worried about losing business during this time.

“I think the types of customers that we get are not going to stop supporting because of the mask,” Abadia said.

Chris Reeder at Fat Daddy’s BBQ had similar opinions.

“I would think that people who want to come here would put a mask on,” Reeder said.

Reeder said his concern was kitchen staff being required to wear masks because of the heat in the kitchen. But he said the restaurant would be complying with the order.

“We want to protect our guests,” Reeder said.

Next door at Crossin’s Deli, a paper that covered the windows and a sign on the door announced that the restaurant would be closed until COVID-19 restrictions were lifted.

“The sooner we can get this all dealt with, the better,” Tony Wideman, owner of T.W. Boons said.

He said he and his employees will follow all available guidelines and requirements.

Out on the Bypass, restaurants were also committed to follow the ordinance.

Outback Steakhouse spokeswoman Elizabeth Watts said the restaurant would be following the local ordinance.

Red Lobster said it would also comply with the mask ordinance and require all team members and guests to wear face coverings.

“If a guest prefers not to follow the local mandate, we will not be able to serve them in restaurant,” said Samantha Bruno, communications manager for Red Lobster.

Bruno said Red Lobster To Go is an option for those who do not wish to wear a mask.

Staff writer Damian Dominguez contributed to this report.



Since access isn’t the problem anymore, state health officials are instead focused on convincing people to get vaccinated against COVID-19, State Epidemiologist Dr. Linda Bell said.

Greenwood County School District 50’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously to remove certain pandemic-related policies at its special called meeting Thursday.

Getting your COVID-19 vaccine should be convenient — from drive-thru vaccinations and vaccines at the grocery store to getting a shot while getting a check-up, vaccine providers are looking to make vaccinations as easy as possible.

Soon children age 12 and older might be able to get the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, and state health officials said they've been getting ready for this development.

Students, parents and teachers can get vaccinated this week at Greenwood or Emerald high schools, according to district officials.

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