Question:There are some small businesses that are planning to reopen today and some have already done so quietly. Do the guidelines you're talking about today apply to them or is this the next phase and can you supply a timeline for small business?
Mayor: These guidelines really are clear from the state. No, businesses are not supposed to make up their own rules and jump the gun. If someone thinks that they are the people who get to make the rules for everyone else, I hate to inform them that's not how it works in a democracy.
We are all in the middle of a pandemic; we're in the middle of a health crisis. The only way we have gotten things better is by all sticking together and following the rules, and it's working. So, no, I'm not into free agents. I'm not into people deciding they can do something everyone else can't do. Any business that attempts to open that should not yet be open, we are going to tell them, shut down right now; they shut down, they don't attempt to reopen. If they attempt to stay open, if Small Business Services, Department Consumer Worker Protection, Buildings Department, Sheriff's Office, Special Enforcement, NYPD, shows up and says, you need to shut down now, you're not working within the rules of the state and city and they ignore it, that starts with a thousand dollar fine and we will keep escalating from there.
You're just not allowed to be open unless you're allowed to be open. If you're an essential business, you're allowed to be open. When phase one is formally declared by the state and city, that’s when the next group of businesses can open.
It's abundantly clear who falls under those categories. Anyone who is not clear, pick up the phone, call the state or call the city, and we'll tell you. Construction, manufacturing, wholesale, and the kind of retail that's not been covered by essential, but again, with restrictions – curbside pickup or in store pickup.
Anyone who decides they're above the law, they will feel consequences.
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