King County business owners fear Phase 2 reversals

King County business owners fear Phase 2 reversals

“The business community values predictability above all things, and if COVID-19 has shown us anything, it’s that predictability is difficult,” said Andrea Reay, CEO of the Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce. Now, shop owners are trying to adapt once again to a changing landscape. County leaders are trying to help bring some relief, but there’s only so much to be done to address everyone’s issues.

Unfortunately, more change is on the way. “We’re literally learning every day,” Desimone said. “There’s no way to look at what was and plan for the future. We just have to…wing it.”

Under state guidelines, King County needed to have 200 or fewer new cases and no more than five hospitalizations per 100,000 people over a period of two weeks to stay in Phase 3, but King County is currently failing to meet both metrics. Desimone has been running Iris and Peony in downtown Burien for the past six years, but this past year has been the hardest yet.

Source www.king5.com “I would say, 50% of my business would be weddings and events, so now to have it phase back to Phase 2, would mean at least another year before I could even explore doing business in those areas,” said Desimone. “In Phase 2, I may have to lay staff off again. No matter what, I’m always the one standing here, but for us to keep adapting and keep adapting, at some point, it just becomes enough for us.”

But months of uncertainty may be too much for local businesses to handle. “The needs vary pretty dramatically,” Reay said. “Going from 50% to 25% might mean that some of our restaurants, for example, end up closing and only doing takeout. It doesn’t make sense for them to do just 25% dine-in, it actually just makes more sense for them to switch from 50% dine-in to 100% take out.”

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