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Local shops react to Governor’s newly-proposed mask rule

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PEORIA (WEEK) -- After the governor announced proposed rules that would fine businesses for not requiring customers to wear masks, shops in Peoria say they are stuck between a rock and hard a place. Either face fines, or lose customers that do not want to comply.

"It leaves me in an awkward position, I'm not a police officer, but I'm a manager of a store. But now, I have to tell someone at the door that they can't let a customer in because of the fact that they are not wearing a mask," said David Quinn, manager of Holmes Shoes at Peoria's Metro Centre.

Quinn says the vast majority of his customers wear masks in the store. However, he's still not comfortable with the idea of turning some away.

"99 plus percent of people coming in are wearing a mask, just a few haven't. But now, I have to stop people at the door and say go get a mask. I could be losing a customer," he added.

Jade Wagenbach owns Belle Mie, a boutique shop in Junction City. Her take is the same as Quinn's.

"We're not in any place, to you know, tell people to do one thing or the other, as it is, we're just struggling to stay afloat, so that's a little bit unfair," said Wagenbach.

She says she can't afford anymore restrictions.

"We can use all the help that we can get, we've been closed and hit from every sort of angle," she added.

And with police already having other responsibilities, Quinn's not sure this mandate will really be enforced.

"If the state wants to make that a mandate, go and create a law, don't create a guideline, because that's all it really is...a guideline. Until it's an actual law, I really shouldn't be enforcing it at all," said Quinn.

Andy Weber

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