Cooper’s Reopening Pause a ‘Death Warrant for 1,000+ NC Bars’

RALEIGH – Governor Roy Cooper has vetoed every bill landing on desk that would offer targeted business owners some relief from the governor’s lockdown orders. Wednesday, the legislature tried to override one of those vetoes, a bill allowing bars and gyms to reopen, but Democrats ensured it failed. Then Governor Cooper announced the State was pausing its reopening at Phase 2 for at least another three weeks.

That is a death sentence according to business owners.

From Carolina Journal:

“[…] North Carolina began reopening May 8. As the state moved through Phase One, Cooper promised a slow return to normalcy — like a dimmer switch turning up the lights. Cooper said Phase Two would include reopenings for gyms, bars, movie theaters, salons, barbers, retailers, and restaurants starting May 22. But when that day came, fitness centers, bars, and cinemas were ordered to stay closed, while restaurants, salons, retailers, and even swimming pools opened for business. Some gym and bar owners filed lawsuits. Others opened in defiance of the law. Others waited for Cooper’s Phase Three, which many hoped would begin this month.

Now, they’re left waiting.

“The governor’s decision is effectively signing a death warrant for 1,063 bars across North Carolina while offering zero relief to the small-business owners or their employees,” said Zack Medford, president of the N.C. Bar and Tavern Association in a news release. 

[…] Businesses can’t wait any longer to reopen, said Republican lawmakers.  

“I am not up here to give my opinion,” Rep. Michael Speciale, R-Craven, said during a House debate Wednesday. “Way, way too often our decisions are not based on what is best for the people of North Carolina. It’s about what’s best for our caucus or our party. I’m asking everyone here to stop and remember that you are representing the interests of [many] people.” 

“There are people who are out of jobs. There are people literally losing their minds.” 

Gyms and bars are no different than any other business, Speciale said. 

“Everybody in this room needs to press the yes button and let them go back to work,” Speciale said. […]”

In the end, only one Democrat, Rep. Michael Wray (D-Northampton County), joined Republicans to override the objections of the governor – not enough.

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With Cooper’s extension announcement, the pile of corporate corpses and lost livelihoods at his feet will only get taller. With so many business owners facing permanent loss of their enterprise, we expect a great many to start making tough decisions to ignore Cooper’s orders for the sake of survival.

Read more from Carolina Journal.

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