COVID-19 Injury Lawyers

Restaurant, Bar Owners Question Enforceability of COVID-19 Mandates as Business Suffers

Posted December 7, 2020

It is estimated that restaurant owners across the United States will have lost an average of $240 billion by year’s end because of COVID-19 mandates. But now, with governors across the country updating mandates almost daily to try to keep in line with rising coronavirus cases, some bars and restaurants are beginning to feel as though there is no true science behind the decisions, leaving them to lose business at the most financially critical time of year.

Bar Owners Take Stance Across Country

A Minnesota bar owner who refused to close doors after COVID-19 mandates were created has since lost her liquor license. After a surge in cases, the Minnesota Department of Health prohibited dine-in service. But for bar and restaurant owners in states where it is not legally possible or economically feasible to offer take-out services, the question is not just protecting public health, but supporting local small businesses.

And it’s not just the small businesses, but the people they employ who are impacted.

Small Businesses Lose Most in COVID-19 Era

The National Restaurant Association estimates that more than 8 million restaurant employees were unemployed at the height of the pandemic. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also estimates that of those impacted from March to April, 6.1 million jobs in the industry were cut completely.

In May, when states began reopening plans, some 2.5 million jobs in the food and beverage industry were added back, however, with colder weather coming and outdoor dining slowing down, in addition to more mandates to slow the spread, it’s likely more jobs will be lost before years end.

Though a vaccine is on the horizon, it will likely be months before businesses become profitable again, especially with there not being another round of stimulus checks coming anytime soon.

Some states are pushing for their own stimulus packages for small businesses while others are far behind, placing fines on those who are already in financial deficits.

Lawsuits Bring No Success

Given the questions of enforceability of the COVID-19 mandates for some businesses as compared to others, a Michigan restaurant group pushed a lawsuit to overturn indoor dining restrictions.

Unfortunately, though the group pointed to the fact that restaurants and bars were being targeted compared to other industries, the state argued that the restrictions were necessary to help protect public health.

With minimal financial aid available and litigation failing, what are small businesses to do?

COVID-19 Small Business Protections

As a small business owner, not only are you putting food on the table for your own family, but you’re helping support families in your community. But when forced to close your doors while box stores and chain establishments thrive, you likely wonder–who is looking out for me?

The COVID-19 Injury Lawyers are here for you. We will review state mandates, review fines and penalties and see what options are available to keep your business open during these trying times.

Contact us today. We want to help.

Posted in COVID-19.