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Businesses face push back during Governor's mask mandate

Posted at 11:04 PM, Jul 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-14 00:04:47-04

As the first day of Governor Edwards' mask mandate comes to a close, businesses and customers are adjusting.

Some business owners find themselves in a tough place as they try to enforce the Governor's mandate.

Candy Hebert, owner of Morvant's Bar and Grill said, "I'm the warden and I'm forcing them to do something that they don't want and upsetting a customer is also hopefully my customer in the future."

Hebert believes ultimately it will fall on her and employees to make sure the mandate is fully enforced, but she hopes following the rules will not drive away customers.

"I've been here 41 years and it's all pretty much word of mouth and loyal support," Hebert said.

On the first day of the order, she's already faced push-back about following the mandate.

"So then, it puts me trying to explain and trying to get them to understand I have to follow the rules," Hebert said.

Monday evening, she increased signage in and around the restaurant. Hebert is also selling masks if you don't have one.

For those customers who do not want to go inside or wear a mask, Morvant's now has a drive-thru.

"We're doing the best we can to survive and pay the bills," said Hebert.

Customer Yvonne King was with her family celebrating a birthday at Morvant's Monday night.

Though she agrees wearing a mask is uncomfortable, it's a sacrifice she's willing to make.

"It's the new norm. If we want school to start, if we want football season," King said. "We just have to do it and go on. If that's what it takes, that's what it takes."

King and Hebert hope customers realize wearing a mask is a small gesture to continue supporting businesses.

"They're here for us everyday," King said. "How can you not?"

Hebert said, "Those customers mean everything to me right now, especially because of the economy."

Youngsville Police Chief Rickey Boudreaux said because the mandate is not law, it is difficult to enforce. He did say if a business refuses service to a customer for not wearing a mask and that person does not leave to call 911.

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