‘This can’t last’: Local businesses react to Inslee’s restrictions extension

After Gov. Inslee announced he would be extending business’ restrictions until 2021, local restaurant owners are worried they might not survive.

Don Karger, the owner of Henry’s Restaurant and Catering, said he was frustrated with the lack of consistency from the government.

“There aren’t clear reasons for how they open and how they close,” Karger said. “This time, they did it without any support for us.”

Karger added that while he’s in a better position than most restaurant owners, he’s worried others won’t be be able to hold on.

“There’s some people that are just not going to survive this at all. They’ll lose everything. They’re going to lose their homes, they’ll be flat broke,” Karger said.

One of the people worried about the financial future is Isidro Ortiz, the owner of Fiesta Mexican Restaurants.

Ortiz said his sales have dropped about 80-percent because of the pandemic.

“All my money is gone and we all need to work. We all need to open for dine in and it’s been a huge struggle and now that we’ve found out it got extended more through January, it’s unreal,” Ortiz said.

While Gov. Inslee has said additional applications for grants has opened, Ortiz said it will not be enough.

“Is there some help coming our way? I know we just got some applications for 20,000 coming our way but that’s only going to cover me probably two months worth of rent,” Ortiz said.

Karger and Ortiz were a part of a five-minute long video that pleaded to the governor to rethink his restriction extension.

The video, titled “Message to Governor Inslee,” was filled with concerns from business owners to local government figures.

“We need to get funds from somewhere, we need to survive and we need to open up,” Ortiz said.