LA’s battered retailers may be getting more bad news

Mayor Eric Garcetti may push back a limited reopening of businesses, despite governor’s statewide plan to begin Friday

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (Credit: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (Credit: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Gov. Gavin Newsom will allow some retail businesses across the state to reopen on Friday, but Los Angeles officials may keep its battered industry off that list for now.

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti said the city could wait another week before it lets retail locations like flower shops, bookshops, and other stores to open for curbside pickup, according to the Los Angeles Daily News. Garcetti ordered nonessential businesses to close on March 19.

State officials released a four-stage reopening plan last week that unlocks the doors on smaller businesses first. That would be followed by the resumption of large events. The plan requires that various safety measures be in place and coronavirus metrics met before larger businesses can open.

Waiting a week would put openings in line with the scheduled May 15 end of the city’s “Safer at Home” order. Last week, Garcetti released a revised version of the order, which allows real estate brokers to conduct property showings with restrictions.

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Garcetti said the city’s density was a key consideration to the reopening of businesses, adding that L.A. could go the way of hard-hit New York City “in the matter of just a few weeks, if we do this wrong.” While New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has outlined plans for reopening, he said it would be a “long time” before New York City would be ready.

Garcetti said he was working on a reopening plan with county health officials and said he wouldn’t open up businesses without their consent. The county could release details about its own plan in the coming days.

“Today we don’t have those signoffs [from county officials] and I won’t move forward unless we do have that sort of agreement,” Garcetti said.

The city has allowed construction to continue unabated throughout the state of emergency — with various safety measures in place and the threat of closure if they were ignored. Garcetti pointed to that plan as a success, saying there hadn’t been an “outbreak in large numbers.” [LADN] — Dennis Lynch