Rochester businesses question ‘orange zone’ impact/benefit

Coronavirus

ROCHESTER, NY (WROC) Alex Tahou of Nick Tahou Hots, like many restaurants in Rochester, is open, but just for takeout. 

“It’s slow anyway, but it’s worse now with the orange zone impact,” says Tahou. That ‘orange zone’ limiting or shutting down businesses altogether in the City. 

“A lot of people are afraid to come in because of the COVID. The other problem is that there’s 150 downtown that aren’t working anymore,” he says.

Tahou’s hanging on for right now, but he and other business owners are questioning the impact this is going to have in the weeks and months ahead.

City Councilman and barbershop owner Willie Lightfoot started a petition last week to ‘Re-Open ROC’. That petition just reached 1,000 signatures Friday from business owners and is to be delivered to the Governor’s office next week.

“I don’t understand the real logic behind closing all the places,” says Tahou.

Governor Andrew Cuomo Friday saying he sympathizes with many of these businesses, but asking local governments to do a better job enforcing regulations like the closures in  Monroe County’s orange zone. 

“I understand COVID fatigue. I understand people are resentful of these regulations. I get it, but if you don’t enforce restrictions and if the restrictions are violated, then they’re pointless,” says Cuomo.

Another concern for Tahou? State and federal stimulus to keep his business afloat. Congressman Joe Morelle (D-NY) talked about this earlier in the week during News 8’s coronavirus town hall. In short: it’s still a work in progress on Capitol Hill, but he’s confident it will come. 

“We have to pass a stimulus plan that I talked about, it has to have support for small businesses,” says Morelle.

Until relief can come, or the orange zone is lifted, Tahou reminds us all if you’re looking for a world-famous garbage plate to go, there’s just one place. “We’re safe. We’re clean. And we are the only Garbage Plate. Everyone else is a copycat,” he says.

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