Local business owners, community members react to mask mandate

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KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) – “It frustrates me because we’ve allowed people to go out into the community and now we are backtracking,” said Jessy Dawson.

Middle Grounds Coffeehouse owner Jessy Dawson is making sure her workers and customers are safe and wearing masks. Dawson said the mask requirement has had a huge impact.

“Our sales have dropped over 50%,” Dawson said.

Dawson said the decrease in business means she won’t turn away customers, but she’s making sure she’s the proper safety precautions.

“I see everybody walk up to my door and then turn around immediately because they read our sign. Our sign says please wear a mask we miss your smiling faces but if someone walks in and they don’t have their mask on I’ll still treat them the same because it doesn’t change our protocols were still cleaning social distancing,” said Dawson.

Lovick’s Cafe owner Steve Lovick said he hasn’t seen any big changes in business traffic but he is noticing people are following the new rule.

“Everyone is pretty much abiding to the mask requirement,” he said.

He’s ready to get back to a sense of normalcy.

“We’re ready to get over this. It’s been four months, we’ve been up and down were keeping everybody happy, business has been good but it’s always toying with your mind,” Lovick said.

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