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Local businesses react to state’s mask mandate

Published: Dec. 10, 2021 at 5:22 PM EST
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CLAYTON, New York (WWNY) - The state’s mask mandate comes during the busy holiday shopping season. We checked how area business owners and leaders are taking the news.

With snow on the ground and Christmas decorations out, Clayton businesses are excited for the holiday rush.

In the midst of that, they have a choice: mandate masks or make sure every customer who walks through the door is vaccinated.

It’s not the news some business owners wanted to hear.

“Things are changing so quickly on the state and local level, you just can’t keep track of it,” said Lynette Thayer, owner, The Mason Jar.

Governor Kathy Hochul says masks must be worn in all indoor public places unless businesses implement a vaccine requirement.

Thayer says for her store, The Mason Jar, a vaccine requirement just isn’t realistic.

“I can’t stand at the door and be the vaccine police. That’s not possible for us and, as a small business, I don’t know what the answer is. I do know it’s not shutting us down again,” she said.

Thayer says these next two weeks are crucial for business and is hoping a mask mandate won’t deter customers.

“That’s the last thing we want is to have people stay home,” she said.

Meanwhile, as Sackets Harbor prepares for its Whoville celebration, local shops are preparing to tell customers to mask up.

“It has been tough to enforce with customers coming in, telling them whether to mask up or not. That’s been the hardest, is trying to enforce that when it really shouldn’t be our responsibility to do that,” said Daniel Radmanovic, co-owner, Chrissy Beanz.

Sackets Harbor Chamber of Commerce President Manna Doyle says experiencing what Sackets shops have to offer should be worth masking up for.

“If what gets between you and coming out and enjoying Sackets Harbor and all the lovely shops and eateries is a piece of fabric, I’m sorry,” she said.

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