Letter: Bigger shouldn’t win
The Routt County Board of Commissioners are benefiting the big retailers; they need to find a balance.
Here in Florida, the restaurants are at 100% with indoor and outdoor dining. It comes down to personal responsibility and choice. If you are uncomfortable with indoor dining, don’t go. If you think or don’t think your actions jeopardize others, be smart and err on the side of caution. I am a capitalist libertarian who believes in less government, but in Steamboat, the government is tilting the scale.
I want to present an idea in support of our local businesses, especially the restaurants. I think the commissioners are picking winners and losers by allowing the big supermarkets and Walmart to sell prepared — frozen, canned and fresh made — foods. If they are essential businesses, they should only be allowed to sell ingredients to prepare food. They are profiting greatly during this pandemic, and they can contribute to the local restaurants by subsidies and lower prices for ingredients they buy.
You can go into the supermarkets for a minute or an hour, bump into people, handle fruit that’s been touched by countless people, buy sushi, fried chicken and various other freshly prepared foods, but you can’t sit 6 feet away from another table in a restaurant, which cleans the area after each patron and strictly observes COVID-19 protocols.
These restaurateurs’ employees are our neighbors, and their profits and salaries stay here instead of going to Bentonville, Arkansas, or Cincinnati, Ohio. To me, it’s just not fair.
While this may be an added expense to some households, it will be partly balanced with keeping more people employed and businesses surviving. Also, with the contributions of the supermarkets and Walmart taken out from restaurants, cost to consumers can be reduced.
We need to be an “all-in” community to survive this, and this partly starts by requesting Walmart, Safeway and City Market do the right thing.
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