Businesses caught in the middle of mask mandate battle

One local business owner told Action News Now that his employees have been receiving threats on both side of the mask mandate issue.

Posted: Jul 2, 2020 5:38 PM
Updated: Jul 2, 2020 5:44 PM

CHICO, Calif. - The mask mandate across our state continues fueling controversy and many businesses are caught in the middle of the battle.

Action News Now Reporter Kristian Lopez spoke with the owner of True Value Hardware on East Avenue in Chico who says they've been facing some challenges. 

Owner, Gary Powers says they have had people yelling inside the store on both sides of the issue, some even threatening violence.
He says they are constantly encountering angry customers who are both for and against wearing masks.

The store does have a sign up on their door asking people to mask up but Powers says if people choose not to theres not much they can do.

"We are not law enforcement, we are not a government entity, the bottom line is if someone doesn't comply, we don't have many options but to ask them to leave and if they refuse to leave then we have to call the police but the police and sheriff's department have said they are not going to respond to mask calls," said Powers.

Powers says the problem has been getting worse lately and it's making him concerned for his employee's safety.

He says, "They need to understand we are a business, we are not the health department, or police we cannot force people to comply without putting ourselves at bodily risk we are trying to provide a service that's all we are trying to do."

He says he wants people to understand they are trying their best to follow state guidelines even as as they change each week.

All employees are masked up and they are constantly sanitizing the store.

If you don't feel comfortable shopping inside they are also offering curbside pick-up.

Governor Gavin Newsom mandated wearing masks when out in public or in high-risk areas back in June 18th.

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It wasn't as hot for northern California today, but temperatures still reached seasonable summer levels and more thunderstorms sprung over our eastern counties. After one more seasonable day, hotter weather will return to our area.
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