Farmington mayor calls for immediate opening of all businesses at 20% occupancy | KOB 4

Farmington mayor calls for immediate opening of all businesses at 20% occupancy

Christina Rodriguez
Updated: April 15, 2020 05:31 PM
Created: April 15, 2020 10:00 AM

FARMINGTON, N.M. — Mayor Nate Duckett has declared Farmington to be an 'economic emergency area' as a result of COVID-19 and forced business closures. 

Duckett is calling on Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham to consider modifying her public health orders to permit all businesses to reopen at 20% maximum occupancy, while practicing social distancing. 

In the declaration, he commends Gov. Lujan Grisham for her leadership in the face of a global public health emergency and for the public health orders that have been implemented. However, he says the closure of non-essential businesses has led to the highest levels of unemployment in New Mexico's history and will lead to higher rates of poverty. 

"As a consequence of the public health order, an economic disaster has been created by defining 'essential' and 'non-essential' businesses which unjustly dictates winners and losers by discriminating against small businesses and specialized retailers," the declaration reads. 

Governor Lujan Grisham was asked about the push to reopen small businesses during her Wednesday COVID-19 update. 

"The big box competitive advantage is troubling for everybody in the country who is trying to make sure that their local small businesses can, to the highest degree in a public health crisis, stay afloat, and it is not easy," she said. "And the financial strains and struggles of these businesses and the struggles of the communities who are also affected are real, but if we're not at the surge, and we're bending the curve, even smaller groups are still transmitting the virus. The notion that if you have risk at one place it's okay to have risk at two places is not an effective strategy when you're dealing with a public health emergency."

The governor added that her decision about which businesses were deemed essential was based on life and safety needs of New Mexicans.

To read the full declaration, click here

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