’It’s important to just try and help them out at this time’: Businesses adjust to new restrictions | SierraSun.com

’It’s important to just try and help them out at this time’: Businesses adjust to new restrictions

Local businesses have been forced to adjust once again following the the state’s regional stay-at-home order.
Justin Scacco
Truckee’s bars were forced to close last week, while restaurants and retail spaces had to adjust to tighter restrictions.
Justin Scacco
The regional stay-at-home order will be lifted once ICU capacity is 15% or more.
Justin Scacco

With stay-at-home orders in place across the Truckee-Tahoe area, businesses from bars to hair salons were forced to post closed signs in their windows while other sectors like restaurants and motels had to make major modifications in their operations.

Truckee and Lake Tahoe are currently under a regional stay-at-home order, which went into effect Dec. 11. It will remain in place until at least Jan. 1.

“It’s difficult for everybody,” said South Tahoe’s Julissa De La Torre, who was shopping Tuesday in Truckee with a friend. “We were able to at least support some small businesses. It’s important to just try and help them out at this time.”

There are currently a number of resources put forth at the local and state level for small businesses. Applications for the California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program open today and offer up $35,000 to small businesses and nonprofits.

Nevada County has launched its Small Business Winter Survival Campaign to raise funds for small, locally owned businesses. As of Thursday, the campaign has raised $130,012 of its stated goal of $250,000.

On the lake, the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association launched a Know Before You Go guide along with its North Tahoe EATS Facebook page.

“North Lake Tahoe’s ski resorts and businesses are rising to the challenges presented by COVID-19, investing tirelessly in systems and safeguards that ensure our destination is open and welcoming to travelers seeking the world-class recreation, relaxation and indelible family moments that North Lake Tahoe provides,” said Jeffrey Hentz, CEO of the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association, Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau, in a recent release. “We have always been a place of discovery, exploration and adventure, and the 2020-21 winter season may be the perfect time to explore new ways to experience the region. But responsibility also lies with each visitor to follow best practices and health mandates so that our North Lake Tahoe staff, resorts and businesses can enjoy a long and healthy winter season.”

Recent restrictions have hit many business sectors particularly hard, but the area’s main winter attractions, skiing and snowboarding, have managed to continue operating.

“Obviously, very important to our industry. (It’s) very hard to stop, and then start again in the ski industry,” said Mike Reitzell, president of Ski California. “We are prepared, as an industry, to be open with the appropriate COVID-19 mitigation.”

Other businesses haven’t been as lucky, however. New orders have shuttered bars and hair salons, while forcing retail spaces to a 20% limit during the holiday season. Restaurants are also forced to halt all on-site dining, while hotels can only offer accommodation for COVID-19 mitigation and containment measures.

The regional stay-at-home order will be lifted once ICU capacity is 15% or more.

Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at jscacco@sierrasun.com or 530-550-2643.

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