Chico provides hotline for reporting non-essential business violations

Chico City leaders say they've received many complaints about non-essential businesses that are still open and have a hotline people can call to voice concerns.

Posted: Mar 30, 2020 7:35 PM
Updated: Mar 31, 2020 9:00 AM

CHICO, Calif.- It's been almost two weeks since Governor Gavin Newsom declared a stay at home order, which means only essential businesses should be open, but are they? 

City Manager, Mark Orme, says they're getting a lot of calls from concerned citizens, complaining that non-essential businesses are still open.

Orme says, when that happens, the city will provide letters to those businesses, reminding them they could face up to a $1,000 fine. 

Essential businesses include things like, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, banks, and transportation.

While non-essential businesses are things like gyms, hair and nail salons and bars and nightclubs.

Orme says they are being proactive about the situation. 

"What we've done is created a line the public can use to call in to share if there is, what they believe is a non-essential business that is operating, and that allows our team to go out and responsibly inform those businesses of the governor's order," Orme said. 

He says they do not have the power to shut businesses down, but they do go out and educate them on the governor's order and remind them of the potential punishments they could face.

He says they have received a high number of dispatch calls reporting violations - but says you should only use that number for emergencies.

If you want to report a concern about a non-essential business that is still open, you can call the "Report a Violation" hotline, the number is (530) 879-6330, or you can email CodeEnforcement@chicoca.gov 

Among the businesses deemed essential, that are still open are drive-thru coffee shops, Action News Now recieved concerned calls about what may be a lack of social distancing at some locations. 

Reporter Kristian Lopez spoke with workers at Dutch Bros, who say they are taking safety precautions.

You can no longer use the walk-up window, only their drive-thru. 

Employees can no longer accept cash payments, only cards which customers must swipe themselves.

Dutch bros says it is also frequently cleaning and sanitizing their coffee shops, changing work flows to allow for social distancing and providing sick pay to every employee.

According to the company, those employees who choose to work during the next 30 days, will recieve a pay increase of $3 dollars an hour as a thank you.

All of the Dutch Bros locations in Chico are currently still open.

Many local bike shops also continue serving the community. 

The owner of Chico Bike and Board, Brian Daellenback says he's owned the shop for almost 24 years and right now they're facing a lot of uncertainty with fewer people coming through their door, but he is staying optimistic.  

He says he decided he wanted to continue serving the public and providing transportation until he was told otherwise.

He adds, he is following the CDC guidelines of social distancing and keeping the store extra clean.

Other bike shops are also open, including North Rim Adventure Sports and Campus Bicycles. 

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