Officials weigh in on Butte businesses frustrated with local COVID-19 mandates

Posted at 9:33 AM, Jan 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-01 11:33:22-05

BUTTE — The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way consumers go out either to restaurants, grocery stores, and clothing stores and there’s no doubt that businesses have been hit hard.

Local business owners in Butte have grown tired of following rules that have taken a toll on their employees and themselves.

La Casa Toscana owner Sonia Zachow organized a meeting to be held with 25 local business owners where Julie Jaksha, and J.P Gallagher to discuss the impact of the local COVID-19 mandates on small businesses.

"People are passionate on both sides of this issue, and it’s really hard, but as a community I think we just need to stick together and come through this stronger than ever and support our small business owners and support the health department and the mandates that they have set in place." said Jaksha, the Regional Director for Headwaters and the Butte Local Development Corp.

Gallagher, the Butte-Silver Bow chief executive elect, said that he was caught off guard by how big the meeting is and plans to go in with an open mind and listen to what is being said, but there is a limit to what he can do.

"I’m not going to go into that meeting with any kind of intent to make any changes to the health department or what they can do because, quite frankly, I don’t have authority to change anything that the health department does. They have the authority within their board to put the mandates out within our community and I think their appropriate during this time." Gallagher said.

Butte Brewing Company owner Tony Olson said that he understands the frustrations of the business owners, but the mandates keep everyone safe.

"I think the mandates are in place for you know, a good reason. It's really tough on businesses to be able to comply with this and the people making the mandates sometimes you kind of wonder if they know what they’re putting other people through," Olson said. "I just hope they can make it work out between the businesses and try to get the most business we can and still protect the people out there from the pandemic."

The meeting will be held at La Casa Toscana on Monday beginning at 2 p.m.