Locals gathering to support small businesses and protest COVID zoning restrictions


ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – Locals came together for the “Go Zone” gathering in front of Anne’s Pancakes to show their support for small businesses struggling due to the orange zone restrictions from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

In the frigid cold, community members held signs up for the “Go zone” gathering. Cars drove by honking in support. Plus employees from Anne’s Pancakes offered coffee and hot chocolate for people that came out to support local businesses.

Two community members, RC Ike and Nick Grasso, tell 18 News why they decided to come out to the event.

“And this is just one of a number of events similar to this, to show our support and love for some of our local businesses that really have been decimated by this shutdown,” said Ike.

“There hasn’t been a single day, since these zoning restrictions have started that we’ve been below 4%,” said Grasso. “These restrictions are not helping to stop the spread.”

Ike tells 18 News that they plan on having another “Go zone” gathering in horseheads next weekend.

Here’s the full statement from Elmira First District Councilman Nick Grasso:

Just want to thank you for coming out to all the people coming out here. Today we’re here to support a great business in Elmira, Anne’s Pancakes. And it’s been devastated by the orange zone restrictions. They’ve been in business since 1964, and after 56 years, they’re seriously considering having to close their doors. We’re here today to make it clear that the community wants to see their people and their businesses alive. Today is day 45 of what started two weeks ago, of these extended zone restrictions back in October. Last week, our County Executive Christopher Moss stated, and I quote, ‘If you look at the parameters that the Governor set up, in order for us to come out of this orange zone, We’re not even close.’ We need to be below 3% positive daily rate in the orange zone for at least three days in a row. According to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s update, there hasn’t been a single day since the zoning restrictions have started that we’ve been below 4%. These restrictions are not helping to stop the spread. The governor also tweeted this week, ‘Over 70% of the cases are being traced to households and small gatherings.’ Yet the restrictions continue to be unreasonably placed on businesses. These businesses are going to die if we do not do something to change that soon. In the very simplest form, all we’re asking is for the restrictions to be returned to a green zone for all of Chemung County. I want to thank everybody for their support for you guys coming out, wish everybody good health, a happy and prosperous holiday season.

Nick Grasso, Elmira First District Councilman


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