New Michigan mask regulations require enforcement by businesses

Published: Jul. 11, 2020 at 10:03 PM EDT
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Michigan business owners are facing new mask regulations starting Monday. The new executive order from Governor Gretchen Whitmer requires businesses to refuse service to people not wearing masks. Those that don't comply can face heavy penalties.

"I truly think our business will drop off. That being said, we're still going to go forward with what our governor wants us to do. We'll make it happen," says Brad Jennings, owner of AJ's Doolittle's restaurant in Lambertville.

Starting Monday, Jennings will have to refuse service to customers not wearing masks, or face a misdemeanor, a $500 fine, and possibly losing his licenses.

"I don't think as far as business owners and restaurants in Michigan, we should be put in a position where we are basically laying down the law, so to speak," says Jennings.

These new regulations come from Gov. Whitmer's latest executive order and apply to all businesses statewide.

Wyldewood Tack Shop has required masks inside the store since they reopened on June 1st.

"There are two sides to every story, and I try to have an unbiased opinion on everything, but as a store manager, what happens inside the store is the only thing we can control, so that is where we will require the mask," says Wyldewood manager Lisa Azoni.

Some local businesses are concerned about customers refusing to comply, but Wyldewood says they've had no problems.

"We haven't had too much of a kickback from customers, so I'm not too concerned about my people having to confront customers," says Azoni.

For places already struggling, enforcing the mask requirement is just one more item on a growing list of COVID-19 regulations.

"We're worried about it. We're worried about this place. We're worried about surviving. We're worried about our employees surviving. It's tough, but we're going to get through this," says Jennings.

Businesses will also have to post signs at every entrance reminding customers that masks are required.

AJ's Doolittle's and Wyldewood encourage people who don't want to wear a mask to take advantage of curbside and online services.

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