Businesses adapting to Columbia mask ordinance
COLUMBIA - Columbia's mask ordinance officially went into place at 5 p.m. on Friday, but many businesses in the city were preparing much earlier than that.
Jerry Rowden, owner of Jerry's Instrument Shop in Columbia, has a bowl and sign set out when customers walk in. In the bowl were free masks and hand sanitizer.
"We're just asking that, if people don't have a mask, we'll give them a mask," Rowden said.
He's not the only store owner who's providing for customers. Ashley Addison, a store manager for Your CBD Store, said they've had masks ready for awhile.
"We has some disposable masks that are still in a box. We can provide those," Addison said.
Another store, Valhalla's Gate, is also providing masks for employees, and asking everyone who comes inside to have a mask on as well.
"Valhalla's Gate provided staff with a themed face mask and one of our lovely customers made us all cloth masks that can have a filter added," store owner Katie Burton said. "None of us are thrilled to wear one, but we believe the science that says wearing a mask makes being inside with the public safer."
And for those that don't want to wear masks, Rowden said he already has a plan in place.
"We're not going to make any enemies. If someone really has a strong feeling about not wearing a mask, I'd be happy to go out in the parking lot with them, and talk with them. Find out what they want, bring it out to them, you know, whatever needs to happen. But we don't want to make anybody mad,"
Columbia's mask ordinance is set to expire in 90 days.
Not wearing a face mask in Columbia could get you a $15 fine, and business that don't enforce it could get hit with a $100 fine.