Local businesses react to lifted Texas mask mandate

Published: Mar. 3, 2021 at 6:49 PM CST
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SHERMAN, Texas (KXII) - Local businesses south of the Red have taken a huge hit since the pandemic began, but are now hopeful with Governor Abbott’s order to lift the mask mandate and fully reopen businesses next week. How local business owners see these changes impacting business.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced the end of the statewide mask mandate and 100% opening of businesses, leaving it up to local business owners to decide if they’re require customers and patrons to wear masks.

“People are gonna be divided and split because some think it’s too soon and some think it’s overdue. I fall somewhere in the middle of that,” said John Lewis, owner of Mariachi’s in Sherman.

Lewis says they never required masks and will continue to leave that option up to individuals.

“I think we’re gonna keep up the same heightened sense of cleanliness in going on and we’re gonna continue to sit people the way we have been. We’ve been at around 75% so I mean add an extra 25% is not a huge deal. But we have a big place here, we’re able to spread out,” said Lewis.

Lewis says they have been able to stay busy through the pandemic, but says this change will help other businesses in Texoma who haven’t been as fortunate.

“Get the economy going. Get people going. Get people seeing other people again, you know,” said Lewis.

“Is it gonna change anything? Oh I’m sure it will,” said Barry Reed, owner of Jake’s Place in Denison.

Reed says their large facility has allowed full crowds while keeping their distance, but never required masks.

“I don’t tell anyone when they come in here they have to wear a mask. That is their discretion. My employees, I let them make their choice,” said Reed.

Jake’s Place hosts live music on weekends, which Reed says has helped local musicians continue performing while other venues had to turn them away.

“My phone has been ringing off the hook. I mean I’m getting emails and text messages from bands all the way from Dallas saying hey we wanna book with you. I’m gonna be making quite a few phone calls, I wanna get these people in here and let them do what they do best,” said Reed.

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