Business owner says restrictions aren't treating some businesses fairly

Posted at 10:05 PM, May 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-19 23:26:14-04

GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — As businesses look to rebound during the COVID-19 pandemic, some business owners are taking issue with Mayor John Cooper’s plan to reopen Davidson County, saying the restrictions aren’t treating catering businesses equally.

Jim Hagy helps run Chef's Market in Goodlettsville. While his business has transitioned to fulfilling takeout orders, a big part of his business -- catering -- has ground to a halt.

His catering event calendar is empty, and his shelves are stocked with unused equipment.

Hagy wants to know why there isn’t more leeway for weddings under Mayor Cooper’s Reopening Nashville plan.

"We feel like there needs to be clear answers here," Hagy said.

Right now in phase one, restaurants can have up to half their maximum capacity -- potentially more than a hundred people if the space is big enough. But gatherings like weddings that Chef’s Market could cater are limited to just 10 people. Hagy says venue spaces should be allowed to continue with the same percentage of occupancy that restaurants can.

"A flat number of 10 when dealing with venues like Cheekwood or Bellemeade plantation that can easily seat 600 people, doesn’t make any sense," Hagy said.

Hagy says with safety measures like hand sanitizer and face masks, events like weddings can be safer than restaurants, malls or big box stores, who don’t use guest lists.

"They’re able to track that contact tracing back and see who was at events," Hagy said. "There’s no invitation list to go into Walmart."