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Frustrated Long Island Business Owners Have Message For Gov. Cuomo: We Need To Reopen Now

EAST MEADOW, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- Nassau and Suffolk counties are close to meeting the state's requirements for starting to reopen.

But, as CBS2's Jennifer McLogan reported Tuesday, a group of business owners say close is not enough.

There is frustration in Massapequa Park, where they're hanging baskets of flowers near curbside pickup locations, hoping to lure patrons back to a bleak Main Street.

"All my clients calling me every day saying, 'Can I be first?'" salon/spa owner Denise Tristano said.

MORECoronavirus Lockdown Has Long Island Main Streets Struggling To Survive

Some business owners said they've had enough.

"My civil liberties have been taken away from me. I have not made a dollar since the government shut down in March," charter boat owner Joseph Tangel said.


State Assemblyman Mike LiPetri is wondering why shoppers are allowed in big box Walmart and Target, but the local mom and pop stores are being left out.

"Long islanders have reached their tipping point. The people are on the brink of financial devastation and cannot wait another day," LiPetri said.

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Some business owners have pledged to follow medical guidelines, but said they are considering defying orders, paying fines, and reopening immediately.

"The worst thing that can happen for businesses and all of us is if we have a huge increase in cases and we end up right back at the beginning," Nassau County Health Commissioner Dr. Lawrence Eisenstein said.


Nassau said it has met five of the reopening metrics and hopes to get all seven soon, and get the OK from Albany.

"I would caution we do it together and we get there as quickly as we can," County Executive Laura Curran said.

MOREProtesters Call For Swift Reopening On Long Island As Coronavirus Hospitalizations Decline, But Local Leaders Urge Patience

The town of Hempstead wants to green light restaurants' comeback with temporary outdoor permits. Owners can apply online for free.

"When the governor lifts restrictions restaurants are going to be limited to how many people they can have in there," Supervisor Don Clavin said.

Borrelli's Italian restaurant plans to turn the rear parking lot into alfresco dining.

"We could take some of those chairs and high tops and bring them outside," owner Frank Borrelli said.

They are new ideas to jumpstart the economy, while pushing for more businesses to be put in the "essential" category.

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