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Columbia Business Monthly

Greenville City Council Passes Emergency Ordinance Requiring Facial Coverings in Certain Businesses

Jun 23, 2020 11:22AM ● By David Dykes

Greenville City Council passed an emergency ordinance Monday night, June 22, 2020, requiring customers wear masks inside grocery stores and pharmacies. The ordinance, which takes effect Tuesday, June 23 at noon, also requires that employees wear masks in all businesses, including restaurants, retail shops and salons within city limits.

In passing the ordinance, the mayor and City Council cited the doubling of Covid-19 cases since Memorial Day in Greenville County, which leads the state with more than 3,600 cases.  

“Face covering is proven to reduce the spread of this deadly virus,” said Mayor Knox White.  “If we want to keep our citizens healthy, our businesses open and return to the normalcy we crave, we must take strong action to require masks inside essential shopping locations.”

On Tuesday, city staff will distribute approximately 50,000 masks to local businesses. Masks will be delivered to grocery stores and pharmacies, city officials said.

Other businesses with a City of Greenville business license can pick up masks from 8 a.m. to noon at the Greenville Convention Center. Businesses will be limited to 100 masks each while supplies last, city officials said. Mask pick-up will be drive-thru style at the Exposition Drive circle.

Also Monday, council members approved the use of $250,000 in Unity Park funds to provide micro-grants to small, locally owned and independent businesses facing financial challenges stemming from the pandemic. Private donors to the city’s Unity Park Project can designate up to 10 percent of their contributions to the Small Business Boost Fund, city officials said.

The one-time boost grants of $1,000 are limited to businesses with two to 49 employees, no more than $1 million in gross annual sales and a physical storefront in the city of Greenville. To be eligible, a business must have a 2020 City of Greenville business license, have no open tax liens or court judgments and cannot have filed for bankruptcy, city officials said.

Businesses must apply for funding and grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, the officials said. Apply at www.greenvillesc.gov/BusinessBoost

City officials said businesses must upload a completed IRS Form W-9 with their application and provide a brief description of the need for the funding and how the funds will be used.

All grant and mask recipients will be required to sign the Greater Greenville Pledge, the officials said.

The pledge is a commitment by businesses to clean frequently, limit capacity, encourage social distance, monitor employee health and encourage facial covering. Business can take the pledge at: GreaterGreenvillePledge.com or LaPromesadeGreenville.com.

“Not only we are asking businesses to do more for the sake of public health, but we are giving them the tools to do it,” White said. “The Boost Grants and free masks are a way to help our small businesses without have corporate support, reopen responsibly without additional financial burden involved in the purchase of personal protective equipment and additional cleaning supplies.”


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