Assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell, D-Long Beach, on Friday called on Gov. Gavin Newsom and local health departments to allow small retail businesses to open with safety measures in place such as limited capacity, requiring masks and proper social distancing.

“Big-box stores and supermarkets should not be the only places allowed open during this time,” O’Donnell stated. “We need to allow small businesses and local retail to resume limited operations if they can follow health guidelines.”


The announcement comes the day after Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn announced she wrote a letter to the governor requesting non-essential businesses be allowed to reopen utilizing the same safety protocols major retailers have been using for months.


While some counties across the state have been able to open businesses more widely, Los Angeles County and Long Beach are dense, urban centers will be slower, officials have said. On Thursday, the county reported 46 new deaths and 1,204 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the death to more than 2,000 and total cases to more than 42,000.


As of now, retailers that are considered non-essential are only allowed to sell goods via curbside pickup. 


The county has set July 4 as the tentative date for a full or staged reopening of much of the economy.


Following Hahn’s announcement, Supervisor Hilda Solis said she did not support the proposal. She argued that the health and safety of residents outweighs the need to fast track economic recovery.

Brandon Richardson is a reporter and photojournalist for the Long Beach Post and Long Beach Business Journal.