Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp speaks during a press conference at Liberty Plaza, across the street from the state Capitol building in Atlanta on Monday, April 20, 2020. Kemp revealed that he planned to allow some small businesses to open back up by the end of the week. (ALYSSA POINTER / Alyssa.Pointer@AJC.com)
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Sandy Springs, Roswell residents react to plan to reopen businesses

Sandy Springs residents had mixed reactions on social media to Gov. Brian Kemp’s decision to start reopening the economy during the coronavirus pandemic. 

In a statement to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Mayor Rusty Paul said the city plans a safe return to public activities within city facilities. 

“We are reviewing the governor’s order and working internally with our senior leadership team to determine a controlled and measured approach,” he said.  

An official post on the Sandy Springs Facebook page informed citizens of Kemp’s order allowing some businesses to reopen this week.

Gyms, nail salons and barbershops can reopen Friday, and restaurants and movie theaters on Monday. The Facebook post urged businesses to use social distancing and other measures when they reopen. 

Commenters were evenly divided in favor or against Kemp’s decision to reopen businesses.  

Sandy Springs residents react to Gov.Brian Kemp’s decision on Facebook

Some questioned Kemp’s judgment in considering nail salons an essential business and worried about the reopenings triggering a second wave in the virus outbreak.

A separate post doubted information on COVID-19’s mortality rate and the number of people infected with coronavirus that has been presented by media and politicians. 

Roswell reacts 

Ryan Pernice, who owns three restaurants, Table and Main and Osteria in Roswell and Coalition in Alpharetta created a formal Facebook post informing customers that he does not intend to reopen on Monday. 

Pernice told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he is figuring out the proper safety measures for employees and customers

After Kemp’s announcement, Pernice, held a nearly hourlong Facebook live session to answer questions from restaurant patrons on how he plans to move forward. Both posts together had nearly 300 comments, Wednesday, expressing supporting of the business owners’ careful approach to reopening. 

In a statement to the AJC, Roswell City Councilman Mike Palermo said business owners and residents should have a say in how their city economy reopens through their local representatives. “My initial reaction to [Kemp’s decision] is wondering if a one-size-fits-all approach is best for the entire state,” said Palermo. “Each community has a vested interest in balancing the needs of immediately reopening their economy and protecting the safety of residents and employees.”

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