BALTIMORE (WJZ) — While most of Maryland moved into the second phase of Gov. Larry Hogan’s Roadmap to Recovery plan on Friday, a group of business owners on the Eastern Shore is calling for the governor to go even further.

At a press conference Monday, business owners from a variety of industries called on the governor to reopen the state. More than a dozen business owners attended the rally to ask Governor Hogan to give them a fighting chance.

“Please, Governor Hogan, give us the chance to open and stay in business,” said Antoinette Bruno, owner of Trimper’s Rides in Ocean City.

CORONAVIRUS RESOURCES: 

From amusement parks to gyms, wedding venues and restaurants, business owners shared stories of a turbulent three months.

“My business operations had to completely change,” said Nick Wake, owner of the restaurant Tenchi in Greensboro. “My employees’ lives were completely changed.”

While some asked for guidance from the governor, others shared steps they have taken to keep employees and patrons safe when they open.

“We have added sanitizing solution that we use to spray down the go-carts and specifically wipe down the steering wheels and seat belt buckles, miniature golf clubs and any other high-touch surface areas in the park,” said Valerie Kramer with West Ocean City-based Baja Amusements.

Some of the speakers said they respect Hogan and the work he’s done to keep the state safe, but they feel that they can safely reopen in fact their business depends on it.

Jerry Greenspan, the owner of Sportland Arcade in Ocean City, said, “I want to thank you for your leadership, and I want to tell you that I think it’s time that you lead us down the path to open.”

In a statement, Hogan’s office said:

“The governor is committed to a safe, gradual, and effective reopening of our economy. That’s how we were able to resume outdoor dining a little over a week ago with an expanded footprint across the state. By following this roadmap, we are slowing the spread of the virus, and putting ourselves in a position to get more people back to work soon.”

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Sean Streicher

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