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Some Nevada business leaders optimistic despite extension of coronavirus restrictions

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS / NOVEMBER 2020
                                Casinos and other businesses are seen reflected in the glass walls of an overpass along the Las Vegas Strip.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS / NOVEMBER 2020

    Casinos and other businesses are seen reflected in the glass walls of an overpass along the Las Vegas Strip.

LAS VEGAS >> Gov. Steve Sisolak’s decision to extend the state’s coronavirus-related business restrictions until at least Jan. 15 has left some local business leaders mildly optimistic about the future of the industry.

Most business leaders, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported today, said they were grateful the governor did not add restrictions in his announcement.

“Closing businesses, as they have in other states, would be a death knell,” said Cara Clarke, a spokeswoman for the Vegas Chamber.

Sisolak extended orders Sunday to limit capacity for most businesses in the state at 25% while retail and grocery stores will continue to limit capacity at 50%.

The president of the Latin Chamber of Commerce, Peter Guzman, said the fact that the governor did not implement harsher restrictions gives businesses “a fighting chance to keep their doors open.”

“People will be able to buy Christmas gifts and have somewhat of a Christmas and a holiday season,” Guzman said.

The CEO of the Nevada Association of Employers, Thoran Towler, said he was nervous about what lies ahead, especially with a spike in coronavirus cases and deaths.

“Extending the current restrictions is hard for so many small businesses and their workers, but I realize it could be a lot worse,” Towler said. “Many of the businesses I work with are fearful of the governor shutting down some entire industries or counties like California has done recently.”

Other local business officials, such as Nevada’s director of the National Federation of Independent Business, Randi Thompson, were far more critical of the governor’s extension.

“I was very upset to see that we have enacted these restrictions and they’re not making a difference,” Thompson said. “Opening up our economy and telling those who should stay home to stay home is working in other states. Why are we not looking at other states that are allowing their economy to work but protecting those that are most vulnerable? That should be our focus.”

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