“Give us a chance”: Maryland businesses make plea to Gov. Hogan

MARYLAND – Maryland business owners stood beside elected officials on Monday at Fisherman’s Inn making a plea to Governor Larry Hogan: lift restrictions on places like restaurants, amusement parks and wedding industry vendors.

“I did everything we were asked to do in order to help get us all back to work. Let’s get back to work,” says Steve Moody, the owner of Steve Moody’s Entertainment Connection in Easton.

“Give us the chance to show you we can play by the rules. We have been playing by the rules. We can keep our guests and employees safe,” says Antoinette Bruno, president of Trimper’s Rides in Ocean City.

Right now restaurants are limited to outdoor service, carry out and delivery. Meanwhile, wedding venues and amusement parks have received no guidance from the state and remain closed.

Historic amusement parks like Trimper’s Rides in Ocean City say they’re willing to follow any kind of capacity limit. “Is it 250 guests? We can do it. Is it 500 guests? We can do that too. Heck we can keep 1,000 guests safe in our 103,000 square feet,” says Bruno.

The owner of Kylan Barn in Delmar, Maryland says he’s frustrated that the state’s restrictions are causing his clients to take their business across state lines to Delaware. “Our projects bring in over $450,000 in tax revenue for our local town a year and we can’t get open but you can set a tent up 200 yards from us and have everybody there,” says Doug Marshall, the owner of Kylan Barn.

Some restaurant owners say they’ve gone beyond temperature checks and social distancing by making other drastic changes to keep everyone safe. “We even went so far as to shut down our seafood buffet for the year. It’s done. We can’t do it. We won’t do it. We understand that it’s not safe,” says Cole Taunton, the owner of Embers Restaurants.

These business owners may be from different industries but they all have one thing in common: the desire to serve customers once again while following any kind of guidelines they need to.

“Given that opportunity we will prove this state can come out of this thing strong. We just need a chance,” says Taunton.

In a recent statement to 47 ABC, Governor Larry Hogan’s said, “As we move closer to reopenings, we post best practices and additional guidance on the Maryland Department of Commerce website. Maryland’s small business owners have made incredible sacrifices during this crisis, and we look forward to getting more of them back up and running again as we head into summer.”

There’s no word yet on when Maryland will start phase three. Governor Hogan mentioned in his phase two announcement, “If we continue to see these really encouraging trends that we are currently experiencing, our next step – likely coinciding with the end of the school year – will be to consider opening some additional outdoor amusement, fitness, sporting, and other summertime activities.”

Categories: Local News, Maryland