Alabama Retail Association President Rick Brown and others continue to advocate for opening small stores under similar occupancy, social distancing and health standards placed on larger stores.
In an April 15 interview, Brown told FOX 10 in Mobile, “Small local retailers are going broke. We need to get them open as quickly as possible in a safe manner.” The U.S. Census Bureau reported Wednesday that overall March retail sales dropped 8.7% from February, the largest drop ever recorded.
Retail stores and restaurants combined are Alabama’s largest private employer.
“Local retailers are what makes your community, a community. It’s what gives it a unique flavor. If those retailers aren’t around anymore because they’ve gone out of business, we won’t have the uniqueness in our individual communities that we enjoy today,” Brown said.
Brown is a member of the COVID-19 Emergency Small Business Task Force Subcommittee, which is expected to submit a plan to the governor and state health officer by Friday, April 17.