California Governor Gavin Newsom just issued a proclamation declaring July 2020, as “California for All Small Business Month.” Yet just last week, ahead of weekend Independence Day celebrations, he ordered beaches closed, ordered the closures of restaurants, wineries, tasting rooms, movie theaters, family entertainment centers, zoos, museums, cardrooms and bars in 19 counties. Newsom also issued an order declaring there would be “no singing or chanting in churches” in the state, and no 4th of July parties or fireworks, and he promised enforcement in the form of his appointed “strike teams,” California Globe reported.
“Enforcement is a difficult one, and I am not naive about that … not Pollyannish about it,” Newsom said. “We have I think a responsibility … to go after people who are thumbing their noses, being aggressive, being reticent.”
How do you celebrate small businesses while at the same time locking them down and sending enforcement officers to cite and fine them?
The Governor’s Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery, co-chaired by Ann O’Leary, Newsom’s Chief of Staff, and Tom Steyer, Chief Advisor to the Governor on Business & Jobs Recovery, is apparently launching a new campaign encouraging Californians to help small businesses in their communities operate safely during the pandemic. But the irony is rich as most restaurants and small businesses cannot function, much less function cost effectively, under the governor’s on-again-off-again, lockdown restrictions and mask-wearing mandates.
“The state’s new campaign, Calling All Californians: #ShopSafeShopLocal, partners with industry-leading companies, such as Nextdoor, Google, and UPS, to connect California’s small business owners with critical tools and resources to help them adapt to new consumer and market demands and create safer shopping experiences by improving their online presence,” Newsom’s press statement said.
Is this Gov. Newsom’s “new normal,” where businesses must “adapt” to the random shut down orders and loss of business revenue?
Many restaurants throughout the state have announced their closures are permanent because of Newsom’s shutdown orders.
The text of the Governor’s proclamation includes this bizarre message, with no acknowledgment of the latest business closure order, or his enforcement “strike team:”
“During California for All Small Business Month, we are proud to launch the Calling All Californians: Shop Safe Shop Local campaign to lift up our small businesses, their employees and the neighborhoods they serve. Together, we can help our local small businesses succeed in this new marketplace – rallying Californians to safely spend locally and online, while amplifying resources to support small businesses and help all of our diverse neighborhoods thrive.”
The “Shop Safe Shop Local campaign” does not explain how Californians can shop locally when only big box stores, and those businesses which Newsom deemed “essential,” like pot shops, liquor stores and dog groomers, have been open throughout the governor’s statewide lockdowns, while the majority of small business owners have been prohibited from operating, or operating with severe restrictions.
Is this a proclamation to make it appear as if Gov. Newsom cares about small businesses, while he actually encourages county officials to threaten businesses with hefty fines if they don’t willingly comply?
Yesterday, Yolo County passed an urgency ordinance authorizing county code officers fine businesses up to $10,000 for refusing to comply with Newsom’s “safety measures,” including not requiring patrons to wear masks and allowing indoor dining.
Newsom’s ‘Strike Team’ Strikes Fear in Businesses
Over the July 4th weekend, Newsom’s “strike team” of plain clothes enforcement officers “contacted” 483,000 businesses, but issued only 52 citations. Did they visit the businesses in person
Newsom’s “strike team” is made up of agencies that license hair stylists, barbers and bars, the California Highway Patrol, CalOSHA and the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency, Business Oversight, Consumer Affairs, Food and Agriculture, the Labor Commissioner’s Office, and the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development.
In his daily briefings, Newsom is relying only on the increasing number of positive test results for coronavirus as justification for his lockdown orders. However, what the governor is not admitting is the state is doing over twice as much testing, which means more people are testing positive, but a lot more people are testing negative, and deaths continue to go down significantly, even with the increased testing.
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