SPOKANE, Wash. — A petition to reopen local businesses in Spokane now has over five thousand signatures and counting.
Although it started on Wednesday, it already gained a ton of traction and has caught the attention of Mayor Nadine Woodward.
“That's definitely a conversation I've had with people who have called my office and they are very concerned,” Woodward said.
The petition argues there are five reasons why Spokane is ready to open things back up. Among those is a plea that businesses are going bankrupt.
Bonnie Quinn owns a business in Spokane and she's been the driving force behind this new petition.
“My hope was to give the opportunity for these business owners that are taking such a hard hit, an opportunity for their voice to be heard,” Quinn explained.
She said what concerns her the most is the difference in guidelines between some of the larger corporations deemed essential and small businesses that don't have as much traffic but are still closed.
“So now there's more people needing to go to these stores within a shorter period of time, which kind of defeats the purpose of social distancing,” Quinn said.
Earlier this week, Spokane made a push at reopening the county. Governor Jay Inslee wasn't in favor of making that decision quite yet, but Mayor Woodward said there are hopes of presenting a new plan to him by next week.
“We will relay that frustration to the Governor,” Woodward said.
Since Spokane is a larger county, health officials have said they're working to develop a metric that'll fit the county's size.
As for the petition, the goal is for 7,500 signatures in hopes of making a stronger case for Spokane to reopen. It's also asking for those that are compromised to take responsibility for their health as restrictions begin to ease.
“We need to safeguard our business, safeguard our home, and we need to learn how we can live in this environment,” explained Quinn. “Not shut down the economy.”