Philly tightens COVID-19 restrictions for small businesses ahead of holiday season

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- As indoor dining in Philadelphia comes to a halt and fitness studios again go dark due to a COVID-19 resurgence, retailers have been allowed to remain open, but under reduced capacity and strict mask enforcement.

The city says for every 1,000 square feet, only five people are allowed in a store. For many small businesses already operating with fewer patrons than normal, it doesn't necessarily change day-to-day operations, but it does impact them as they approach their busy season following Thanksgiving.

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Philadelphia leaders have announced sweeping new restrictions as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise in the city.



Voltaire Blaine's shoe store sits at 1,500 square feet. Under the city's new restrictions, he can now only have five people inside at a time, including him.

"The more the merrier is the motto for the holiday season and of course, if we can't have big crowds in, that's going to hurt us. But we hope that when people come in. What we're able to offer them will make up for it," said Tamara Fellowes of Summer Classics in Chestnut Hill.

Big box retailers will also have to roll back the number of customers they allow into a store.

"Since this spring, we've been monitoring our guest traffic, and metering the number of guests inside when needed to ensure a safe shopping environment. This traffic monitoring, which we do through a balance of team members and technology, will continue throughout the holiday season. We continue to follow any local government mandates," said Target in a statement to Action News.

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Philadelphia business owners are pushing back at the new restrictions announced Monday.



In Northern Liberties, the business district is using pop up events to help businesses without space to temporarily operate in empty storefronts, some of which that have gone dark to COVID.

The restrictions will take effect for Philadelphia on Friday, November 20 and will last through January 1, 2021.

CLICK HERE to view a full list of restrictions.
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