Shopkeepers, cafes, and other businesses are banding together to open on
Saturday, Dec. 19, in defiance of the Anchorage acting mayor’s lockdown order, EO16, which has kept restaurants closed, and others crippled with 25 percent capacity orders.
The group is calling itself Anchorage Business Coalition and is supporting all businesses. The group is preparing a mass civil disobedience of the shutdown orders that as many as 100 businesses have agreed to join.
The group has been meeting for several weeks to find a way to salvage the Anchorage economy and Christmas in Alaska’s largest city. Many shoppers are either purchasing only online or are traveling to the Mat-Su Valley for their annual gift pursuits, since Anchorage has only allowed the big box stores to remain fully functional.
The small businesses that have decided to fully open on Saturday are not ready to be named because the owners fear being arrested or punished, according to a Must Read Alaska source involved with the effort. But a group organizer says businesses are fully prepared to offer goods, services, just like the big box stores do in Anchorage without harassment from the mayor’s code enforcers.
Numerous stores and restaurants have folded this year after several seesawing shutdowns mandated by the Municipality of Anchorage. Those that remain open are hoping to hang on long enough for the economy to return, which may be several months or years away.
Plans are also under way for Saturday for yet another rolling rally that will be supporting all businesses in Anchorage. Several people from Kenai and the Mat-Su are committed to coming to Anchorage to shop in the stores that day and eat at the restaurants, according to the organizers.