Updated: January 14, 2022 07:40 PM
Created: January 14, 2022 07:20 PM
Duluth businesses have begun enforcing the citywide mask mandate that will be in effect for the next 30 days.
They spent the early hours of the day preparing to enforce the mandate amongst their customers.
“We don't want to seem like we are coming after anybody we just want everyone to be safe”, says At Sara’s Table Chester Creek Café barista Amanda Peterson.
The café has been requiring customers to wear masks before the mandate started but for Amanda being the enforcer is a little difficult.
She says, "A little stressful but I feel like if I can make it easier for someone or make it so someone doesn't get sick then I am going to do everything in my power."
Frontline workers also preparing for potential backlash from those who do not want to wear a mask while inside.
Sara’s Table Owner Carla Blumberg saying, "The position of host who is the enforcer is really difficult these days. And there is a lot burn out and a lot of mental of health issues just dealing with the public and all their crankiness."
But there are strategies that businesses will be using to alleviate the stress on frontline workers.
Mainstream co-owner Ben Mork says, "What has happened in the past is that there's been a lot of getting the information out there, so it's not news to anybody."
At Sara’s Table Chester Creek Café using signage to spread the word before customers even enter the restaurant. "I mean we try to have a couple signs on the way in so if you miss one you see the other”, says barista Amanda Peterson
But with the mandate their remains the fear of losing potential in-person shoppers amongst small businesses.
Ben Mork saying, “It is a concern that some business could go online when our brick and mortar stores, that are locally owned and operated, could certainly still use the foot traffic."
However some businesses who have required masks before the mandate haven't seen a big dip of customers. Like at Sara’s Table.
Amanda the barista says, "We have had a lot of people say that they only come here because we take it very seriously and they feel safe here."
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