▶️ Business owners gather to talk next steps amid COVID closures

By MEGHAN GLOVA
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS

Some local small business owners fearing for their future are considering possible next steps amid continued COVID restrictions.

“Our goal tonight will be to encourage the legislature, and the state, and the governor to really look closer at what’s happening to us,” said Parick MacCrone, owner of Raganelli’s Pizza and Sandwiches in Bend. “To us as a core, as a hospitality, as a restaurant and lodging and beverage industry.”

MacCrone is joining other restaurants/bar owners and gym owners at a meeting Tuesday night to address concerns about the closures.

MacCrone doesn’t believe small businesses are to blame for the increasing spread of COVID-19.

“So all of the restaurants, bars, and everything go through that mandate,” MacCrone said. “Now we’re about two, two and half weeks past Thanksgiving, and what happens? We get a spike.”

MacCrone says he doesn’t know if this will lead to groups of local businesses defying the governor’s orders.

He doesn’t think he’d go as far as Kevista Coffee, which has been allowing indoor seating and is not requiring masks for customers and employees.

“I don’t think I want to risk the financial stability of my business or my employees,” MacCrone said. “I have eight employees here, I don’t want to put them in harm’s way financially. So, I don’t know if I’ll go to that extreme.”

The Raganelli’s owner says while to-go is sustainable for a pizza restaurant, he has still taken a hit.

And wants Gov. Kate Brown to know plenty of other small businesses have as well.

“Listen to the people that are in the business versus just kind of blanket,” MacCrone said. “This is how we’re going to do it and you guys are the first to drop.”

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