On Nov. 18, a mask mandate went into effect in all of Dubuque County, requiring under law that citizens must wear face coverings in indoor public spaces when they cannot socially distance. Among other affected organizations, such as sports teams and other forms of recreation, local businesses will likely have to make adjustments in order to continue while not violating the legal restrictions, as these restrictions also limit the amount of people that can be in a single indoor space and the hours that some establishments can be open.
Terry Frasher, owner of Terry’s Barber Shop, is one who is not concerned about legal changes, as he has already been enforcing masks and social distancing in his shop since reopening last spring.
“Ever since I reopened in May, I’ve been doing it,” he said. “I believe in it 100%. You need a mask to come in, and I wear one all the time. I only let one person in at a time unless it’s a family, and it’s working out really well. My customers, they all get it.”
Frasher bevies that making his barbershop follow the mandate isn’t any harder or easier than any other business. He said, “We should all be on the same page. This is serious stuff.”
Joyce Fagan, owner of the retail store Annie’s Treasures, shared a similar sentiment, stating that such practices have already been a part of her store and that she doesn’t expect much to change for her.
“Everybody that comes in here, I suggest they wear a mask,” she said. “I have a note on the door that says ‘Mask up’, and I’ve had no problems with nobody wearing a mask. Last weekend I was counting as my customers were in here, and if I had more than 20, I just said, ‘No more can come in until one comes out.’ And social distancing? People just know that you stay away and stand apart from people. My customers are great, I’ve had no problem with any of them.”
Fagan says she isn’t worried that the mask mandate will harm her business going into the holiday season.
She said, “I feel very safe here, I don’t think it will affect me. If people are scared, all they need to do is message me. I’ll give them an appointment to be in here by themselves. I’ll do curbside, I’ll do whatever it takes.”
While some local businesses in Cascade may feel secure in the new mandates, others are not so fortunate. Bailey Wood, manager at Cheryl’s Flour Garden, Bakery & Coffee Bar, said that the combination of being a new business and dealing in food means that things are going to get tougher for the bakery.
“Right away we’ve seen a difference with the mandate and we have been very slow compared to a week or two ago,” she said. “We feel that we’re just going to get more restrictions, which is obviously hard because when people come in and see bakery products, they buy more. We just have to adapt and are considering a lot of online stuff, which, being a new business, we haven’t quite gotten our feet wet with yet. We’ve only been in business a year, so it’s hard to tell how it’s affecting us because we don’t have anything to really compare it to.”
Wood said that the coming winter was already going to be rough on the bakery without the mandate, and they are running through ideas to make it through the restrictions.
“We’re adapting, and a lot of customers were very supportive when COVID hit,” she said. “We were getting a large amount of sales at the very beginning, but it seems like a slow tapering off, and winter months are already hard for restaurants, so it’s going to be really difficult and we’re going to have to spend a lot of time online promoting everything.
“We might even try to serve new items like large dinners that they can take home and bake.”