'Essential' bill could help keep local shop and restaurants open during emergency orders

The bill is now being sent to the governor's office.

Posted: Apr 3, 2021 7:54 PM
Updated: Apr 5, 2021 11:56 AM

A bill heading to Gov. Kay Ivey's desk for a signature could benefit small businesses and churches through emergency orders issued by the state.

It was filed in response to what happened about a year ago when COVID health orders forced some businesses to temporarily close.

WAAY 31 spoke with business owners in Huntsville about what this could mean for local businesses in the future.

Under the new bill, if signed by the governor, even places like salons will never have to close their doors or shelves for long periods of time again.

"It was hard to be shut down for 8 weeks, it was difficult," business owner Michelle Mcgough said. "We did get the PPP loan and that really did help us sustain and give us a healthy year."

Michelle Mcgough is the co-owner of Salon Allure and she said this bill feels personal.

Last year she had to shut down and re-adjust after the safer at home order called for non-essential businesses to temporarily close.

The order also restricted restaurants to only to-go and take out orders.

"I think shutting businesses down for over months is criminal quite frankly," Stan Stinson said.

Stan Stinson believes the bill is needed for every small business owner in Alabama.

He admitted 2020 was rough for his business Earth and Stone Wood Fire Pizza.

"Our business dropped 80% and that was with us making deliveries to neighborhoods and doing everything we could," he said.

Under House Bill 103, it would allow for all businesses and churches to stay open as long as they follow and comply with the emergency order, and rules and regulations set in place by local government officials or the state.

Both Mcgough and Stinson hope the bill passes.

"They have bills to pay and they have supported us through the pandemic. Hopefully this year will be a profitable year for those around us," Mcgough said.

We reached out to Governor Kay Ivey's team to see about getting an answer on if or when she will sign the bill.

A spokeswoman told WAAY 31 the bill is under review. 

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CountyCasesDeaths
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Montgomery24037573
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Baldwin20714302
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Washington165338
Macon156148
Clay150155
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Wilcox124727
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Marion308346
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Scott305145
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