MARIJUANA, LIQUOR ARE ESSENTIAL; GUN SALES NOT SO MUCH
Need a bouquet of flowers from your local florist? A new tube for your flat-tire bike? How about a new firearm or some ammo?
Get going now, Anchorage. You’re running out of time.
All businesses in Anchorage have been ordered closed on Sunday at 10 pm, except for those that Mayor Ethan Berkowitz of Anchorage has deemed critical. The order to remain closed lasts through March 31. That includes gun shops.
Small businesses will be hit the hardest during this closure. While a family florist’s merchandise will perish within a few days, the flower departments at Carrs and Fred Meyer, backed by major parent companies Safeway and Kroger, will continue to be open for business, because those flower shops are inside the grocery stores.
There are workarounds. Some small businesses are interpreting the rules by saying they do delivery and they’ll allow curbside pickup. You just cannot go in their small stores. They’ll continue to do business until the police come and shut them down.
Meanwhile, grocery stores in Anchorage are now packed to the gills as though it is Thanksgiving. Shoppers are more exposed to each other in grocery stores at this point than they would be at a flower shop.
Liquor stores are not specifically on the mayor’s list for critical businesses, but he mentions stores that sell “beverages” are considered essential, and so the liquor stores are sticking with that policy and will remain open.
Animal shelters are not included on the mayor’s list of exemptions; according to his list, they will close on Sunday night.
Critical businesses that may remain open include:
- Businesses providing any services or performing any work necessary to the operations and maintenance of”Critical Infrastructure,” including, but not limited to, the Port of Alaska, public works construction, construction of housing, airport operations, water, sewer, gas, electrical, oil production, roads and highways, trucking and shipping companies, public transportation, solid waste collection and removal, internet, and telecommunications systems;
- First responders, emergency management personnel, emergency dispatchers, court personnel, and law enforcement personnel;
- Critical Government Functions, meaning all services needed to ensure the continuing operation ofthe government agencies and provide for the health, safety, and welfare of the public. Federal and State of Alaska employees should follow direction of their employer regarding whether and where to report to work;
- Defense and national security-related operations supporting the U.S. Government or a contractor to the U.S. government;
- Grocery stores, supermarkets, food banks, pot shops, convenience stores, and other establishments engaged in the retail sale of food, beverages, or other household consumer products (such as cleaning and personal care products, pet food and pet supplies). This includes stores that sell groceries and also sell other non-grocery products, as well as stores that sell products necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and operation of residences;
- Food cultivation, including fishing, hunting, farming, and livestock;
- Businesses that provide food, shelter, and social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged, unsheltered, or otherwise vulnerable individuals;
- Newspapers, television, radio, and other media services;
- Gas stations and auto-supply, auto-repair, towing companies, and related facilities;
- Banks, mortgage companies, insurance companies, and related financial institutions;
- Hardware stores;
- Plumbers, electricians, exterminators, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and operation ofresidences and critical businesses;
- Businesses providing mailing and shipping services;
- Educational institutions for purposes of facilitating distance learning;
- Laundromats, dry cleaners, and laundry service providers;
- Restaurants, bars, and breweries and other facilities that prepare and serve food and beverages, but only for delivery or carry out under the restrictions laid out in the Mayor’s Emergency Order E0-01;
- Businesses that supply products needed for people to work from home;
- Businesses that supply other critical businesses with the support or supplies necessary to operate;
- Businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food, goods or services directly to residences;
- Businesses that provide transportation services of passengers or goods, including the Alaska Railroad;
- Home-based care for seniors, adults, or children;
- Hotels, residential facilities and shelters for seniors, adults, and children;
- Professional services, such as legal or accounting services, when necessary to assist in compliance with legally mandated activities;
- Childcare facilities, subject to new recommendations for increased hygiene and social distancing. Childcare facilities should be used only by those who need childcare to work at a critical job.
If business owners do not see their business category on the list, they may ask the mayor for an exemption.
Also beginning at 10 pm on Sunday, March 22, all residents of the Municipality of Anchorage must stay at home as much as possible, except to work in certain critical jobs, to get food and supplies, to receive or provide healthcare and to recreate outside without contacting others.
On the limited occasions when individuals leave home, they should maintain a distance of at least six feet from anyone outside their household, the mayor ordered.
Although the gun sales are locked down in Anchorage as of Sunday night, Southcentral residents still may be able to find open gun stores in the Mat-Su Valley.