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Grass Valley to promote compliant businesses with certification

While Grass Valley is not currently considering Nevada City-style enforcement mechanisms to combat the coronavirus spread, it is adopting similar efforts to highlight businesses compliant with COVID-19 mandates.

According to City Manager Tim Kiser, the city is offering a display certification for businesses that comply with restrictions that correspond to the county’s current tier designation.

“They can put that up in their window to let people know that they are complying with the state orders,” Kiser said. “Hopefully, it helps our shoppers discern which businesses are and are not compliant.”



The program, which began last Friday, has already seen interest, with staff printing certifications and doing inspections already.

“We actually have had a good turnout in the downtown area,“ Kiser said. ”Not all the businesses are 100% compliant, but there’s a good group of them and we’re in the process.“




Businesses interested in certification are encouraged to call the city at 530-273-4350.

Mayor Ben Aguilar emphasized last week that even with the recent surge in COVID-19 cases restricting capacity and shuttering some industries, Grass Valley is still open for business.

On Mill Street Monday, Grass Valley resident Dorothy Lacy agreed, adding as a former business owner she knows it’s a crucial time of year for small businesses.

“For a lot businesses, if there isn’t the typical uptick in sales they’re expecting, they just won’t survive,” Lacy said.

Lacy said while she understands the need for extra enforcement tools like those enacted in Nevada City, she doesn’t want them duplicated in Grass Valley.

The Nevada City Council last week unanimously approved fines for people who fail to wear masks within city limits, or fail to comply with other state public health guidance or emergency orders.

“I think it makes sense in extreme cases, but I don’t see it’s needed (in Grass Valley),“ Lacy said. ”Hopefully, it doesn’t come to that here.“

Kiser said while there are no plans on the horizon for additional enforcement of COVID-19 mandates, that could change if the need arises.

The state-imposed stay-at-home order has already brought some “subtle changes” to downtown’s Mill Street closure, which only allows takeout and delivery food service, Kiser said.

Tables placed outdoors and in “parklets” meant to help outdoor businesses comply with outdoor dining regulations will no longer be used for restaurants, and will be considered public space.

“Basically, the tables are there for the public’s use. If someone was to get takeout at a restaurant, they could sit down at a table and eat it there, if they so choose, but they would have to bus it themselves,” he said. “If they want to sit at the table and just enjoy a rest, they can. They just aren’t dedicated to a restaurant anymore.“

To contact Staff Writer John Orona, email jorona@theunion.com or call 530-477-4229.


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