Jackson businesses discuss push to remove local mask authority
JACKSON, Tenn. — Gov. Bill Lee is pushing for all cities within Tennessee to reopen and remove local mask authority. Business owners throughout Jackson shared their thoughts.
“The customers seem to be thrilled that the mandate has been lifted and things are relaxing in Tennessee. I saw our governor on TV this morning, and he was talking about how Nashville has been opening up and relaxing and so has Jackson, so I’m thrilled,” said Marilyn Jackson, owner of Marilyn Jackson Gifts.
Jackson says the moment people enter her store and realize there is no mask requirement, they rip the mask off because they feel a sense of relief and freedom.
“Any time you talk to people, ‘I’m over it, I’m over it,’ and generally, when I look at people and say you don’t have to wear a mask in here, they just rip it off and say ‘thank you so much,'” Jackson said.
Owner of Amity the Boutique, Morgan Phelps says the response from her customers has varied.
“Everybody is still kind of on the fence about really how they feel about it, but I think overall it’s been a really good response,” Phelps said. “A lot of people have been wanting to kind of see a little bit more change and kind of go back to normal. We’re taking the small steps to it, and I think that’s great, and I think that everybody has been enjoying it a lot.”
Like most local businesses in the area, Phelps has removed the mask required sign off of her door, but says she’s leaving the discretion up to the customer.
“It’s totally up to them if they feel like they need extra protection and things like that. Even myself, sometimes, will even wear a mask depending on where I’m at,” Phelps said.
Owner of Lazy Suzy Boutique, Suzie Baba says her mask required sign will stay up for now, but she does not require a customer to wear one if they choose not to.
“I’m going to have it on until I feel comfortable, myself personally. I think most of us are vaccinated, but until all of us are vaccinated, I think we should still have the mask on. We don’t want it to be repeated. We don’t want the cases to go up,” Baba said.
All business owners agree if a customer does not feel comfortable without their mask, store owners and associates will gladly keep theirs on.