If there is one way Governor Michelle Grisham has been successful during her response to Covid19, it is through her relentless targeting of the restaurant industry. This week, a couple restaurants have spoken up about how it feels to get shut down. Through her targeting of restaurants, Grisham is putting tens of thousands of employees out of work, plus destroying businesses that have been in families for generations.
When restaurants decided to reopen despite Grisham’s orders, they took a risk. The stories below ought to make all of us concerned, not only of what the government has done to shut down businesses through targeting when, as Jalisco’s Cafe owners say, there is no proof provided to businesses, but also because (purely my opinion) the public is compliant and hasn’t demanded answers immediately. Who is speaking out? And by speaking out, I don’t mean social media or an internal email to friends– I mean, who is calling Santa Fe? Who is sending emails? Who is (peacefully) protesting in the streets? Who is writing letters to local officials and the newspaper demanding answers? Again, the answer is obvious– very, very few.
However, you shouldn’t take my word for it– read what has been written and posted by business owners and employees:
We at Jalisco Cafe in Silver City, want to thank everyone for their support. When this health order started back in March, we complied. Opening after almost 60 days was no easy decision. As we have stated before, we opened with safety of our staff and customers coming into our restaurant in mind. Our decision to open was due to the facts in our area. There was no factual basis given to us to warrant remaining closed, not when you were allowed to have everyone going into big box stores. We wanted Due Process. We wanted this for the restaurant industry in our state. The other reason is survival. It was not to get the upper hand on other businesses or take advantage. Those that called us and talked to us understand that.
Every owner has a right to decide to follow regulations and decide if they are just. We decided to take on that fight. And it is a fight! The state has failed or refused to show any scientific data, analysis that restaurants pose a danger. Lawyers have asked for information, discovery to show the data, thus far they have not received any. Our governor has stated in her press conferences that restaurants are not to blame in this most recent closure. New Mexico is only 1 of 3 states that ban indoor dining. As a business, a family business, that has been around for 36 years, our goal was and is to survive this situation. We are responsible for our business, not some Bureaucrat in Santa Fe using their family doctor to make decisions for our state. They have decided to pick winners and losers. She has picked Restaurants to be on the losing side.
Now that patio seating is allowed, those without are having a hard time. Restaurants need your support more than ever, we need your continued support. We did not and do not hold any ill will for those who comply. Whether a business is complying or not, it is up to them to do what is best. For those of you who don’t want to try to understand, and come up with your scenarios to judge us, we are not here to try to change your mind or convince you because you already have your mind made up. If these comments trigger you please feel free to go back into your safe space. That is why we don’t engage in your comments, we do not give comments to the opinionated liberal Silver City Daily Press either.
We are not the only business that is suffering. Numbers are down more than 65%. With the governors vindictive threat of fining businesses $5000 a day, our restaurant at this rate, with no foreseeable changes, will not survive. We need your continued support more than ever.
— Mike and Sandy Mesa, via Facebook
Jalisco’s is a small family-owned restaurant in Silver City, New Mexico. They’ve reopened when other restaurants didn’t. They deserve to know why restaurants have been shut down. You can support Jalisco’s Cafe financially here.
But it doesn’t end there. Jalisco’s Cafe story is similar to many in New Mexico.
Billie Dewey writes, “Saying goodbye for a few days- my neighbor who owns this restaurant was fined $100,000 and had his food serving license taken away, after complying fully with regs, until the Governor ordered full closure of all restaurants, and he refused to shut down (as did several other restaurants in the state). So he’s placed his building on the market naming the Governor as realtor with her phone number. A couple of his employees posted this photo and were kicked off Facebook for 3 days. So, I’m joining the battle for freedom, and would like all my friends would wouldn’t mind a “vacation” to share the pic and make it go viral. Bye for now.”
When will it end? Will Governor Grisham eventually allow restaurants and businesses to go back to normal? Or will the death of the small business and the monopoly of Walmart become the “new normal?”
Have you called your local officials? Have you written a letter to the editor? Please do so today. And if you’d like to join the effort to reopen New Mexico check out the Facebook group “Reopen New Mexico” here on Facebook.