Mask mandate in Colorado: Good news for small businesses?

  • Jul 16, 2020

By Eva Reinoso Tejada :::

We are now a good four months into the Coronavirus pandemic, and every new day brings new challenges and scenarios. I still remember when we first got locked down, I had this feeling of “we will fix this problem and finish the lockdown and go back to life.” It is obvious that I was wrong.

When I started reading about the Spanish flu in the early 1900s, and learned that it came in waves and lasted more than a year, a more clear and grim vision of this came to my mind: We are in this for the long term (whether I like it or not). We saw case numbers go bad, then get better. And the excitement of the reopening diluted all the previous anxiety I had built about the future. Business owners saw the much awaited government loans come and go really fast and realize that we must fight to keep our business alive, and unless we have a mandate to close, we must get creative to weather this storm and stay in business, if that is what we choose to do.

But what do masks have to do with all this? Check this out: We are a family-owned local print shop. We help customers in person, but always encourage them to also place their orders by phone and by email, and just come to the store to pickup their products. We all wear masks; we have counter barriers to protect ourselves and our visitors. We have social distance signs, and floor decals indicating where people need to be to stay safe. We have sanitizer and extra masks that we give for free to our customers if they do not have one.

Fortunately, we have not had the instance of a customer refusing to wear a mask, and I am grateful for that. But what if we did? Could someone argue that we refused service for no reason? Or that we were trying to make a political statement? That is where this mask mandate comes in handy. Small business owners and managers can now say that we are following instructions from government officials to protect our health and the health of others. We are following the law. If a small business gets ONE employee infected, it will have to close their doors for about two weeks. That is devastating and it has happened to people I know. The fact that politics has been intertwined with the pandemic is unfortunate, but be clear that what a small business owner or manager wants to do is to stay open and stay in business, and if the annoyance of a mask will help that purpose, it is well worth it.

And if life gives you lemons, let us make some lemonade. And if we are to wear masks, let us make it fun and in-style by adding a company logo. We can help you with that. We have a variety of logo-decorated masks that businesses can buy and distribute to their employees and customers.

It would be great not to be in a pandemic right now. It would be great to be out and about and live our lives as we always have. But that is not the case, and we will need to adjust to this new reality, especially because it will not go away as fast as we hoped for. We can do this, and we are in this #Together.

Graphic credit: Government of the State of Colorado, official Facebook page of the governor.