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Independent Voice

Outdoor Dining Returns but Defiance is Growing

Jan 28, 2021 12:00AM ● By By Debra Dingman

DIXON, CA (MPG) - Dixon businesses got some good news Monday morning with State Health officials lifting the regional stay-at home order which was based on ICU bed availability, and moving back to the color-coded tier system. However, for many business owners, this is a small token for ruinous closure consequences.

City of Dixon Economic Development/Grants Manager Larry Burkhardt sent a mass email to local business owners to explain the new lift in restrictions.

"This order will mean that Solano County would return to the purple tier, which would authorize outdoor dining at restaurants, and the opening of salons and barbershops," he said.

This comes at a time when defiance of restrictive business bans are pushing business owners to unite and fight back demanding that “every life is essential” and that “businesses have the right to survive”.

One local group, Unite Solano, developed a website and a video portraying a couple dozen business owners saying why they were remaining open and issued a call to stand together.

"Businesses in California are drowning. We have held on with ever changing regulations, stress and fear to serve our communities, but we don’t know how much longer we can keep taking the hits. We need to be able to open fully, taking all the safety precautions available to us," read a social media post from Lindsay Hickman of the Barn and Pantry in Dixon.

She is one of a growing number of restaurant owners across the states who have been crippled for weeks or even months with winter weather minimizing patrons even with outdoor dining availability.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was quoted in an AP wire story by Julie Watson and Terry Tang that his state "simply could not stay closed until the vaccine hits critical mass. The cost is too high. We will have nothing left to open." The desperation of the situation applies locally as well.

"We've been fortunate so far as I know of no businesses that have closed permanently to this point but within that, we are aware of several businesses hanging on by a thread," said Burkhardt. "So, this lifting of the order will assist them--even if in a small way--to keep their doors open until we can enjoy complete access to their businesses."

Unite Solano met this past Monday and some discussed options for raising legal funds to assist those who have received citations or required legal battles. They encouraged everyone to follow for updates on Facebook or Instagram.

One can see the press release from the California Department of Public Health Office of Communications at: