Hudson Valley businesses wonder if proof of vaccinations will be mandated
New York City launched its vaccine mandate Tuesday, leaving small business owners in the Hudson Valley wondering if that policy could soon make its way locally.
Small business owners say they understand the importance of requiring proof of vaccination but worry about how enforcing it will impact their bottom line.
Patrons and staff must show proof of vaccination at indoor restaurants, gyms, and entertainment venues in the five boroughs.
So far, the Hudson Valley does not have that requirement even though at least two restaurants - Goosefeather in Tarrytown and Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico - are making it mandatory.
But other business owners expect it could happen eventually.
"The idea of having to check customers' vaccination cards at the door frightens me," says Ellen Sledge, owner of Penny Lick Ice Cream Company in Hastings.
Sledge requires all customers to wear a mask in her store and says all her employees are vaccinated.
But she'd rather remove her indoor seating, which could possibly hurt business, than check vax status.
"There are other precautions that we can take than me, the owner of an ice cream shop, taking a 17-year-old staff member and putting them by the front door and having them bounce customers," says Sledge.
More than 82% of adults in Westchester have at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine and people locally are mostly on board.