‘It’s about time’: Some businesses in Spokane already requiring face coverings ahead of Inslee’s order

SPOKANE, Wash. – Soon, customers won’t be able to go into a store unless they’re wearing a face covering. Businesses will be required to turn them away.

Governor Inslee’s mask mandate for businesses doesn’t start until Tuesday, but if someone wants to shop in Boo Radley’s Friday, staff will ask customers to mask up before walking inside.

That’s what Anthony Griego and Jalen Wideman did before walking in.

“Everywhere we go, it’s a necessity now,” Wideman said. It’s now a habit for the two of them to just put their mask on before walking into a business.

Jen Menzer, the manager of Boo Radley’s, said she’s had a few people walk out because they didn’t want to comply.

“Governor Inslee made it really easy for us last Friday when he said that everyone needed to wear a mask. It made it a lot easier to have that as kind of a back up if people wanted to argue,” Menzer said.

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“I guess it’s making it a commonality, because now you’re accepting people who are following the rules,” Griego said. “So, it’s kind of making people think ‘Oh, if I don’t have a mask on, I’m not accepted in places,’ then it makes them think. It changes their mindset.”

Menzer said they don’t have the means to be able to provide masks for those who don’t have one.

“We have to keep those for our employees, but there’s lots of great places to buy a mask and we sell them at both of our stores,” she said of Boo Radley’s and Atticus.

Suzy Gage, the owner of Echo Boutique, will be providing masks for those who don’t have one. She’s requiring customers to wear it if they walk into her store.

“It’s about time,” she said of the mask mandate. She feels like it’s not too late that it’s happening now.

Over social media and to staff, people have said they’d take their money to Idaho rather than being required to wear a mask.

“The health of my staff is far more valuable than whatever money they would’ve spent,” Gage said.

She and Menzer hope people will stay local, and be safe.

“I don’t know about anybody else, but I don’t feel like driving 45 minutes to go to eat or go to a bar. It’s not that important to me,” Menzer said. “I’d personally rather spend my money locally, because we’re all struggling just like Idaho, just like Oregon, just like anywhere. So, try to keep your money at home.”

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