Some Pennsylvania businesses defying Gov. Wolf's shutdown order

FAIRLESS HILLS, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Pennsylvania imposed a new slew of restrictions on Saturday, but adherence to the new restrictions isn't necessarily 100%.

Part of the state shutdown includes a ban on dining and working out at fitness clubs indoors.

Crunch Fitness, is a gym franchise with locations all over the region.

At the franchise's Fairless Hills location, people worked up a sweat all day Monday despite the shutdown order.

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The new restrictions in Pennsylvania last through January 4, 2020.

Crunch Fitness' Chief Operating Officer, who declined an on-camera interview fearing backlash, said by phone the company is staying open, defying the governor to stay afloat. And many other businesses are doing the same.

"We've put these people in a very untenable position," said Gene Barr, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry. "It's tremendously sad. We're going to see small businesses, businesses of all kinds and sizes going out of business."

Barr echoed what many gym and restaurant owners tell Action News off-camera: "They can't survive another shutdown."
The Energy Station restaurant in Harleysville is another establishment vowing to stay open. Its owners also declined an on-camera interview, but say neither they nor their employees can afford to close.

Stimulus funds from the spring have run dry.

"Not a single person I've ever talked to wants to get themselves sick, their employee sick or their customer sick," said Barr.

The resurgence of the virus is leading to more deaths and many hospitals are becoming overwhelmed.

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A waitress from Delaware County, Pennsylvania got quite the holiday surprise Saturday night.

Health officials are hoping a several week pause during the holiday will allow them to get a handle on the situation and buy time until a wider rollout of the vaccine.

"We've put these people in a very untenable position and it's tremendously sad," Barr said.

Barr hopes future federal funding could help ease some of the burden.

"We're hoping that this stimulus package passes for small businesses in Washington," added Barr.

The businesses defying state orders could face serious fines and license revocation.
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