ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Some counties have said they won’t be enforcing the state’s mask mandate because they don’t have enough resources. This puts businesses in the middle, forcing them to the frontlines of a battle against customers who don’t want to wear one.

“Our public health team is a dedicated group of healthcare professionals whose job is to educate the public on how they can best protect themselves from communicable diseases and viruses, such as COVID-19. Local Health Departments are not policing agencies,” Saratoga County’s Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, Theodore Kusnierz, Jr. said Monday.

“It is very tough for us business owners because of the predicament that we are in, having to choose a side: option A or option B,” Matthew Doheny, who runs ABC Fitness in Latham told NEWS10 on Sunday. “You know we are going to upset some people; it’s just how many people are you going to upset.”

In a survey of 2,380 adults, Americans showed only lukewarm feelings towards masking in general according to Scorpion. Forty-one percent said facemasks should be enforced among employees, and only 37% said all customers should be wearing one. The survey also found:

  • 28% believe employees should decide to wear a mask
  • 16% said enforcing unvaccinated employees to wear a mask is enough
  • 32% believe customers should decide whether to wear one
  • 17% said enforcing unvaccinated customers to wear a mask is enough

Although there is a lot of contention in the general population, there is more supporting evidence showing that masks work in preventing the spread of COVID. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention list many studies and research reports, some in the U.S. and from other parts of the world, on its website.

Scorpion’s survey found that support for local businesses increased during the COVID pandemic. It also found that national businesses have a lot to work on if they want to impress Americans. Local businesses outperformed national ones in several areas including trust, responsiveness, and uniqueness. See all the results in the table below:

CategoryLocalRegional/National
Personal interactions58%8%
Uniqueness of services offered48%9%
Trust44%8%
Responsiveness44%12%
Familiarity42%17%
Better service40%10%
Reliability31%15%
Source: Scorpion

“It’s becoming clear that all business is local — national chains and franchises may operate on a larger scale, but they have much to learn from the locally-owned businesses that continue to forge such strong relationships with their communities,” said Scorpion CEO, Daniel Street.