Businesses react as Phase 4 brings more questions than answers

“They don’t give guidelines in a timely fashion"

Photo Courtesy of Aurora Theatre

Photo Courtesy of Aurora Theatre

East Aurora, NY (WBEN) - Many businesses in Western New York who were preparing to reopen as part of ‘Phase 4’ in less than a week were stunned to hear that they would not be able to do so, and have no idea when they will be given the green light.

When Phase 4 guidelines were released by the state, they did not include gyms, movie theaters, malls, and the industries that thought they would be able to reopen.

“Movie theaters were included in Phase 4 reopening since day one of New York Forward,” said Lynn Kinsella, Owner of the Aurora Theater. “To find out a week prior we’re shocked, frustrated, and depressed that we’ve been removed from Phase 4 with no opening date in sight.”

Kinsella said that she found out she would not be able to reopen from media reports, and not from any representative from the state.

The same goes for Robbie Raugh of Catalyst Fitness.

“In phase 4 we thought ‘OK, we’re ready,’” Raugh said. “If every other place can open with guidelines, why can’t we?”

“It’s not like we haven’t been preparing for it… I’m a nurse, I’m concerned about health, but this news is just frustrating.”

“We’ve had a plan,” Kinsella said about reopening safely. “To find out basically like everyone else that we’re not going to be open, we don’t have an opening date, there is not Phase 5, it’s very distressing to us. We’ve been closed for over three and a half months with no income.”

Even if Phase 4 businesses have a plan, they may need to change it when the State’s official guidance is released.

“They don’t give guidelines in a timely fashion where you’d be able to plan accordingly,” Kinsella said.

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