Updated: April 26, 2020 10:24 PM
Created: April 26, 2020 09:52 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The mayor of Grants has given businesses the go-ahead to reopen Monday despite the governor’s public health order.
Grants native and business owner Jim Stevens said the Grants’ economy was already in poor shape before the pandemic started.
“Grants is a very, very depressed economy anyway and it's getting worse,” he said.
"Some of these small businesses cannot and will not be able to overcome this,” he added.
Stevens and his wife own Sign FX, a small custom printing business. Since nonessential businesses closed, they’ve been limited to just doing sales over the phone.
“The impact is pretty drastic,” he said.
When it comes to the disagreement between Grants Mayor Martin Hicks, Stevens said he’s siding with the mayor.
“I'm standing behind the mayor, as far as him wanting to open the city offices and the golf courses and things like that,” he said.
However, Stevens said he will continue to do business over the phone and said he thinks other businesses should reopen safely.
"I think small businesses should be able to open up and do the social distancing, the amount of people in the facility and just go by the regulations the feds have put out and I think we can govern ourselves actually, I really do,” he said.
Another consequence of reopening the city is facing law enforcement. Mayor Hicks said he doesn’t want State Police in his town shutting down local shops.
"We don't want cops fighting with cops,” Mayor Hicks said. “That's the last thing we want, but I mean, we don't need the state cops—that's my point."
The NMSP Chief said they will be responding to business complaints as they normally do.
“We're not going to be sending additional officers,” said NMSP Chief Tim Johnson. “I mean, obviously if an emergency arises where we need to get officers there quickly, we have a plan for that."
Chief Johnson said he believes a vast majority of business owners will listen to the governor’s directions. Mayor Hicks said he hopes businesses will choose to open.
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