I write this as a small business owner and one who has tried to support our local businesses through this pandemic.
Frederick County and the community has done a great job at continuing to support small businesses and encourage people to shop them. However, there also needs to be a respect from customers for the safety protocols each small business has chosen to put in place. These are based on very hard decisions each business has to make as it tries to protect its staff and customers, and still do some degree of business.
This weekend was an eye opener for me. At our business (pre-order, curbside pick-up only) we had a few customers who thought they were “entitled” to get out, walk around, hang out, and disregard all the safety protocols. Clearly they thought the rules didn’t apply to them and wanted to argue with staff when asked to comply. They thought it was all nonsense and as they were “good customers” they should be entitled to special treatment.
As a customer today, shopping local businesses, it was the same. I went to do a dairy pick-up with signs clearly saying “face masks required outside of your vehicle.” I think that means masks on one’s face — not in your hand or around your neck. There were folks taking their mask-less kids for a walk around the farm; old neighbors getting together to chat with no masks and no social distancing.
Customers need to understand that not one small business owner signed on to be the face-mask police. The decisions we make about the protocols for our businesses are very difficult, and are based on what we deem to be best for our staff and customers. Most likely you are ignorant as to what went into that decision. And regardless of your personal views and beliefs about how to deal with COVID-19 you need to respect the business owner’s decisions and support them in that. Remember, you have choices. If you are not willing to abide by a business’ protocol decisions — go elsewhere. We don’t need your entitled exceptionalism at this point. And we don’t need the added stress of trying to deal with people who think they are “entitled” to special treatment. Support your local businesses by complying with the protocols they have put in place.