Here at VBR, we agree the burden of customers’ facial covering practices should not be on business owners and their employees. Even with the new state orders by Governor Abbott requiring individuals to mask up in public, local county judges continue to mandate that businesses also enforce mask wearing in their establishments or face possible fines.
There should not be an expectation of businesses to carry out such duties. Nor should businesses face financial penalties for others’ (patrons) actions. There is no law supporting this inclusion of county mandates, therefore bringing up questions of unconstitutionality and enforceability. In fact, when Hidalgo County Public Affairs Director Carlos Sanchez was asked in a VBR Q&A July 8 if “any Hidalgo County businesses had been fined $1,000 per offense for customers not wearing masks,” his answer was “NO.”
Local small businesses are the lifeline of the Rio Grande Valley economy. Placing businesses in governing roles outside of their area of expertise is both potentially dangerous and damaging to our economy. We encourage you to speak up. Your input to your county judges’ offices can make a difference.