Protesters Hold Rally in Montgomery, Demand the Reopening of All Alabama Businesses
While some states are starting to reopen economies, this week Governor Kay Ivey and state health officials chose not to reopen the state due to continuing Coronavirus concerns.
Some people are disagreeing with that decision.
“We’re one of the states that need to make phase 1 happen. We need to get small businesses back,” Alabama business owner Jennifer Leary said
Some Alabama business owners are frustrated with the decision to keep the state’s stay-at-home health order in place, saying their businesses are struggling to keep workers and pay bills.
“We are deemed essential. But when your business is with other businesses that are being shut down, it’s like I’m unessential because I can’t work. I can’t help these people, I can’t go and provide my service because these other businesses are forced to close down,” Prattville locksmith business co-owner Zachary Crosby said.
Some southern states have started to ease coronavirus health order restrictions, allowing businesses like barber shops, restaurants, and theaters to reopen with safety measures in place.
But not yet in Alabama, where on Saturday, protesters rallied along historic Dexter Avenue in Montgomery, demanding action that all businesses be given permission to reopen.
“How you can’t make an appointment, come sit in my chair, have a sanitary level of expectation. But you can go to Wal-Mart though where there’s a hundreds people shoulder to shoulder lining up in between aisles,” Dothan barber shop owner Chris Cruse said.
While there are some in Alabama who are for the reopening of the state, other residents disagree.
“It doesn’t need to happen. Because until there’s proper testing but proper equipment, reopening of Alabama should not exist period. I believe Governor Kay Ivey made a sound, wise decision,” Travis Jackson said.
“Get people healthier. Just extend it a little bit more. I know the economy needs to open up, but safety first,” restaurant manager Stefanie Scott said.
State Health Officer Scott Harris says Alabama has not met a federal recommendation of 14 days of declining coroanvirus cases to proceed with the next reopening stage.
“We’ve got to America back up. Most of the people that I talk to have not received a stimulus check, we don’t want loans to pay back money, we just wanna pay our bills,” Leary said.
Governor Ivey’s stay at home health order expires on April 30th. She is expected to give an update on the current stay-at-home health order before it expires next week on whether to keep it in place or extend it longer.