BRANSON, Mo.– Local business owners are worried about the economic impact of a masking mandate recently-passed by the Branson Board of Aldermen. The ordinance requiring face coverings in public went into effect on July 31, 2020.
Ozarks First reporter Jacob Blount spoke with Branson performer Clay Cooper Friday. Cooper says he’s seen a 50% decrease in business from this time last year.
Darin and Kristina Frantz, who own the Schlotzsky’s Deli off the Branson strip, say they’re only keeping their business open as a courtesy to their employees.
Both Cooper and the Frantzs admit their customer bases usually go mask-less, and now they’re worried the recently-passed face covering ordinance will deter what business they have left.
Medical workers in Branson still support the masking ordinance. Lynne Yaggy, VP Chief Nursing Officer for Cox Branson, told Ozarks First the ordinance wasn’t only needed but was specifically needed at this time, when the Taney County area is seeing more and more cases.
“So right now there is this huge prevalence of this disease,” Yaggy said Friday. “If we know that this is the best way to combat it, that’s what we’re going to do. I will tell you that these steps are things we could do 12 months a year, any time of year to prevent disease. We gave it a chance for everybody to voluntarily try this approach, and they didn’t and we have watched our community numbers grow.”