With new mask mandate, some Stamford business owners fear customers will go to mask-free jurisdictions
Some Stamford business owners are angry over the mask mandate handed down from Stamford's mayor, which takes effect Thursday.
Anthony Licitra, who owns a gym called F45, says he expects to lose business to other towns and cities as he believes many of his customers won't wear a mask.
He opened the gym at the end of 2018, getting a little more than a year of business before the pandemic.
"Came to a complete stop, and then a big rebuild since then with bumps in the road," he said. "We look at this as a lose, lose solution. Stamford has a 71% vaccination rate. It's really good and what we feel like is the local businesses are getting punished, who have already been punished the last 18 months. The residents are being punished and what it's going to do is just drive business outside of Stamford."
Heather Cavanagh, president of the Stamford Chamber of Commerce, says she hears what businesses are saying and doesn't want Stamford to lose business. But she adds the spread needs to be stopped.
"The longer we don't encourage this, or the longer people decide, 'I'm not going to do this,' the longer this variant might mutate into something else," she said.
Licitra says he thinks the city could have gone about it differently.
"What I would like to see is maybe the mayor of Stamford, you know, say, 'I want to get to 80% vaccination rate,' and put all his time and resources into that."