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Despite being in ‘extreme’ risk category, some C.O. restaurants push back

'This is an attack on small businesses and middle America'

REDMOND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- While indoor dining remains closed in Deschutes, Jefferson, and Crook counties, three of 25 in the "extreme risk" category due to rising COVID-19 cases, some restaurant owners say they've had enough.

Amber Amos, the owner of Redmond's Westside Local, said Friday she feels small businesses are being singled out unfairly.

"Until somebody runs a restaurant or a taphouse, or something where it takes 100 hours a week of blood, sweat, and tears, nobody really knows what we're going through," Amos said.

Amos said someone put up a Facebook post about her restaurant, which caused many to accuse her business of not following guidelines.

"It was inflammatory, and it caused a lot of backlash," Amos said. "The health department showed up shortly thereafter to see that my entire staff was masked and our staff was following all the regulations as we have since day one."

Amos said restaurants are being singled out -- and big business is benefitting.

"Central Oregon is based on small business," Amos said. "If you lose us, what do you have? Is everybody going to rely on Walmart?"

Other restaurants in Redmond, like Mo's Egghouse, say they've had enough with the restrictions.

Owners Richard Daniells and his wife Mo said they're taking a stance.

"This is an attack on small businesses and middle America, and of course restaurants are a big part of that," Daniells said. "So we're calling on our elected officials to stand up. Where are you? What are you doing for us?"

The couple said they finally hit a breaking point, and are open for indoor dining.

Similar to Westside Local, they feel a disparity between restrictions on their business and large corportations.

"How does it make sense that thousands of people can go into Fred Meyer each day?" Daniells said. "You're telling me that's more sanitary than our restaurant? Absolutely not."

NewsChannel 21 reached out to Oregon OSHA and the Deschutes County health inspector but have not heard back.

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Alec Nolan

Alec Nolan is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Alec here.


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