Editorial: Business - Virus
OUR VIEW: Small Business takes the hit
In the Great Pandemic of 2020, let us note that it is Small Business America that has made the first and greatest sacrifice for the Public Health. When this thing is over, these are the places in each of our towns where we ought to spend our money.
Let it be noted that it wasn’t until Gov. Henry McMaster’s 21st Executive Order that the “big-box” stores took meaningful action to stop families from coming in and walking around. It is an almost certainty that pharmacists caught the Coronavirus from infected people bringing their kids inside the store to shop among the bandages and hair products and Easter candy. What an entitled people we have become!
So, just for the record, in case we get in this mess again, these are the businesses that do not have an effective lobby in Columbia (to be declared “essential”):
Furniture and home-furnishings (except appliance repair);
Clothing, shoes and clothing-accessory;
Jewelry, luggage and leather goods;
Department stores with exception of hardware and home-improvement;
Sporting goods (except those that sell guns, 2nd Amendment);
Book, craft and music stores, flea markets, and florists and flower stores;
Night clubs and Bowling alleys;
Arcades and Concert venues;
Theaters, auditoriums and performing arts centers;
Tourist attractions (including museums, aquariums, and planetariums);
Racetracks and Indoor children’s play areas (excluding daycare facilities);
Adult entertainment venues and Bingo halls;
Venues operated by social clubs;
Fitness and exercise centers and commercial gyms;
Spas and public or commercial swimming pools;
Group exercise facilities, to include yoga, barre and spin studios, or facilities and Spectator sports;
Barber shops and Hair salons;
Nail salons and spas;
Body-art facilities and tattoo services, and Tanning salons;
Massage-therapy establishments and massage services.
Physical therapists - yes. Massage therapists - no (go figure).
The governor inflicted on South Carolina a kind of “Chinese water-torture” approach to issuing Executive Orders, each of which has the force of law. Violate the home-to-work-and-back-again order, and you can be fined $100. A judge probably won’t give you 30 days in jail - the jails are on lock-down - as are the military bases where the Pentagon orders no numbers of recruits-soldiers infected by COVID-19 released to the public. It turned out to be a neat trick - the SC DHEC list of zip codes excludes the zip code for Parris Island. It’s an (alleged) national security matter.
When this happens again, here’s what The State needs to do - Issue a shut-down order, no “essential” vs “non-essential” - no lobbying, no discussion. Police, Fire and Hospital - Period; everybody else stays home, and not that stay-home where it’s like you can hang out at granny’s house all day raiding her fridge. Home, if you don’t have a home, go to the high school gym, there’s one in every county.
So, in short, when this thing is over, remember who sacrificed first and most. Send someone a flower arrangement. Buy jewelry (Southern Gates is really nice). Go to a concert and/or Your Community Theater production. Read the list - patronize those people in your town who pay for the Little League, Meals on Wheels and the United Way, and High School Yearbook, Athletics and Band. They don’t have a lobby - They have us.