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Are businesses violating 'New York PAUSE' guidelines?

Berkeley Brean
Updated: April 17, 2020 07:58 PM
Created: April 17, 2020 07:17 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — New York has been on a statewide pause for four weeks now. 

People are starting to get antsy, and we're starting to hear about non-essential businesses working under the radar and against the governor's orders.

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In one week, the Monroe County Sheriff's office got 26 complaints about non-essential businesses doing business.

The Sheriff's Office says it made 16 visits to the businesses. 

Of those complaints, 13 were in compliance, three got educated on New York PAUSE guidelines and zero tickets were issued. 

The Rochester Police Department also issued zero tickets. 

George Conboy of Brighton Securities says he's hearing from his small business customers who he says feel pressure from customers and pressure to support their families. 

Berkeley Brean: “It puts them in an impossible position. They need income but by doing that they violate the governor's order.”

George Conboy, Brighton Securities: “Right and what we're hearing is a sense of chagrin and that very conundrum that on the one hand I've got a family, I've got employees, I've got customers. On the other hand it's not that they don't want to violate an order, they don't want to help spread the pandemic. No one does.”

Every day in Albany, Gov. Andrew Cuomo talks about a phased re-opening, but he just extended the shutdown to May 15.

When the topic of opening up came up to Monroe County Executive Adam Bello Friday, he offered this warning. 

Bello: “The one thing I can tell you is that I don't think Monroe County is out of the woods. We are a prime location to have a very dramatic second spike because we haven't had that infection rate and spike we've seen in other cities.”

Brean: “If you could talk directly to Governor Cuomo, what would you tell him?”

Conboy: “I would say trust New Yorkers. Trust New Yorkers, trust Rochesterians to be safe.”

The governor said again Friday that he does trust New Yorkers. 

And he said New Yorkers following the PAUSE is a key factor in reducing the spread of the virus. 

He's also talked about losing $15 billion in sales tax revenue. 

Friday I learned Monroe County has lost about $20 million in tax revenue between sales tax, mortgage taxes and hotel room taxes.


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