Bay Area small businesses wrestling with 'contradictory' requirements for reopening curbside

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. (KGO) -- To open or not open that is the question facing many small retail businesses in the Bay Area.

Is curbside OK or not?

The owner of Cheap Pete's Framing with six locations across the Bay Area says it's confusing with the governor saying one thing and county health departments saying another.

Owner Jim Drogo said, "It's just a moving target every single day almost. Sometimes it's contradictory so we just kind of wait and see and yeah it's very frustrating."

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They've decided to do some limited curbside pick up for pre-paid framing projects from before the pandemic, saying, "we have met a couple customers here and there just to help them get their stuff they paid for already and we just put it outside the door and let the customer grab it from outside."

But the county says that's not technically allowed right now.

Enforcement is left up to each local police department.

One florist shop in downtown Walnut Creek said that they are appalled that they can't set out Mother's Day arrangements for curbside pick up when customers are allowed to breeze inside a grocery store down the street to pick up bouquets.

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What's the biggest fear of these small business owners?

"I have a feeling we are not going to do the sales we ever did and we're still going to be paying Bay Area rents and Bay Area wages, so it's going to be very tough. That's my biggest worry," Drogo said. "What happens when we open and how long can we go with a 50 percent drop in sales. "

For those small retailers who attempt to do business curbside, Walnut Creek police say they are going to continue with education not enforcement. They'll remind the business that county health department orders supersede what the state says.

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