Already struggling business owners in Queens say warnings, fines for COVID guidelines are ‘unfair’ – CBS New York


NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Business owners already struggling with the coronavirus pandemic are hit again, this time with citations and fines for not following COVID guidelines.Lorraine Gericke, director of the Best Tress Hair Salon, was told by a town inspector that she was doing everything wrong, using a notebook to record client temperatures and information for contact tracing.

“They slap us with a $ 1,000 fine, which is so unfair,” she told CBS2’s Dave Carlin.

The big penalty is because they didn’t use the city shapes instead.

“We didn’t know we needed it,” Gericke said.


Yi Qiang Chen learned that he needed a piece of paper displayed on the front of his Jade Bamboo restaurant indicating the maximum capacity.

“I’m angry but I can’t do anything, you know,” he said.

He says the inspector told him and one day later another inspector came back and fined him $ 1,000.

“They don’t give me time to do this, you know,” Chen said.

On a block of Dry Harbor Road in Middle Village, Queens, at least four businesses have been fined and in some cases multiple fines.

Louise Fawcett, of Matson’s Delicatessen, has five documents posted on the door of her grocery store, but she says she was fined $ 1,000 for not having a thermometer.

“You have to have one without contact,” Fawcett said. “I ordered it online the day before the meeting. ”

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“Give them a warning,” said Robert Holden, a member of the New York City Council. “No, they won’t do that. ”

Holden is okay with trade regulations for COVID, but what he doesn’t like is what he calls authoritative inspectors from the health, buildings, and consumer departments.

“It’s definitely a drain on money. This is what the city was doing even before, before COVID, they were doing it on businesses, imposing layer upon layer of regulations on them, “Holden said.

Real estate agent Christopher Tscherne has been fined for not having six-foot social distancing markers on his floor.

“If an agent comes and tells me I need stickers, why doesn’t he have any in his car?” ” he said.

Tscherne and other business owners are begging the city to stop hurting the little guy and help them comply instead.


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