San Diego to close down again? Business coalition rallies against looming state restrictions

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SAN DIEGO — San Diego businesses are calling for county leaders to defy state restrictions and come up with their own reopening plans.

A group of businesses which have called themselves the We Mean Business Coalition rallied at the San Diego County Administration Center Monday before county leaders met to discuss COVID-19 restrictions expected to be put back in place this week.

But the board did not vote on any actions during Monday’s meeting, according to county Supervisor Greg Cox.

“We will continue to work with the State to make sure the metrics accurately reflect the underlying dynamics of the pandemic in San Diego County,” Cox said in an emailed statement.

The board meets again at 3 p.m. Tuesday “to provide an update to the public,” he said.

San Diego County is on the verge of sliding back to a more restrictive tier in the state’s monitoring system because of an increased case rate. If the state moves the county to the purple tier, restaurants and many other businesses would be required to stop indoor operations, again. The county would have to wait a minimum of three weeks before moving back to less restrictive tiers.

Following Monday’s meeting, Supervisor Kristin Gaspar said in a statement she’s “optimistic” the county will remain in its current tier Tuesday after having been in “constant communication” with the county’s clinical leadership.

“Our public health team has been leading a group of large, urban counties as we strive for more reasonable metrics,” Gaspar said. “I continue to believe we can protect our public health and safely re-open our economy and will focus on solutions that do both during closed session.”

One person in attendance during Monday’s rally was Karen DePhilippis, owner of Filippi’s Pizza Groto in Little Italy. DePhilippis said she plans to defy any state rules if the county backslides into the state’s purple tier.

According to DePhilippis, Filippi’s already has made adjustments back to indoor dining. She’d rather the county come up with its own reopening plan.

“I see the nervousness on my employees faces every day,” she said. “How would you feel?”

One business owner, Angie Weber, told FOX 5 Sunday that she fears she could lose her restaurant that has been in the family for 12 years.

“You have businesses that opened. They filled their inventories and then two weeks later they are shut down again. The cost of that is not survivable,” she said. “Our leaders live and work here. They know what’s best for the county.”

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