Press Release: City Council Supports Eliminating Specific Restrictions on Retail Businesses (PDF)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Bruce Moe, City Manager
City of Manhattan Beach
George Gabriel, Senior Management Analyst
City Council Supports Eliminating Specific Restrictions on Retail Businesses
Manhattan Beach, CA (May 21, 2020) - On Wednesday, the City Council sent letters to Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn and California Governor Gavin Newsom making an urgent request to allow retail businesses in Manhattan Beach to fully reopen before the Memorial Day Weekend under the same health protocols that “essential” retail businesses have been allowed to operate under.
In the letter, Mayor Richard Montgomery stated, “The resulting economic injustice is unfair to our local mom and pop businesses that can just as easily follow the same health and safety protocols as the big box stores. They sell the same products and they should be allowed to follow the same rules. Limiting our small retailers to curbside only delivery is unjust and unsustainable.”
In response to the City’s letter, Supervisor Hahn acted quickly to support the Council’s position, and Governor Newsom is currently reviewing the matter.
“What seemed to be a necessary measure at the early onset of this crisis has unintentionally created winners and losers in this ‘pandemic economy,’ with large retail businesses able to operate, while small retail businesses are struggling and limited to curbside pickup,” said Supervisor Hahn. “This needs to change.”
At this morning’s meeting, the City Council unanimously reinforced its support of retail businesses by advocating for the elimination of the curbside pick-up only requirement.
The City of Manhattan Beach did not enact these health orders and does not have the ability to lift the orders enacted by the State of California or the County of Los Angeles. As such, “non-essential” retail businesses are currently subject to the restrictions requiring curbside pick-up only until the State and County orders are lifted. City officials are guardedly optimistic the Governor will promptly take action in response to the Council’s and Supervisor Hahn’s pleas to level the playing field for our smaller retail businesses and allow them to serve customers in stores in a safe manner.
The City Council has been very proactive in supporting and advocating on behalf of its businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. City officials have been lobbying County officials to expedite phases so that businesses can re-open. On behalf of local businesses, the City Council has taken several steps beyond sending a letter to Supervisor Hahn and Governor Newsom, including establishing a subcommittee of two Councilmembers to interact with State and County officials to quickly facilitate the recovery efforts.