Joplin businesses react to mask ordinance

Customer Wears Mask In Joplin

Thanks to the recently passed mask ordinance in the city of Joplin, starting on Saturday, July 11th, people over the age the of six will have to wear a face covering while inside public facilities, public transportation, and Joplin businesses.

The owner of Gear Head Auto Sales says he’ll follow the rules, but he’s concerned the ordinance will affect his bottom line.

“I think there’s going to be a lot of people that decide Joplin is not the place to do business. We’ve got surrounding communities around here that have not passed this ordinance. I kind of feel like they’re taking rights away from us as individuals,” said Gear Head Auto Sales owner David Clevenger.

The ordinance will also require businesses to post a sign at all entrances letting people know masks are required, and also states that local law enforcement and other city officials will act in a support capacity if a business has an issue with a customer who refuses to wear a mask.

But the owner of Bucklin’s Furniture says he won’t be calling the cops.

“Well, my understanding is, it’s not up to me to enforce it. I can put the sign up and tell them, and if they want to come in, it’s not up to me to call the cops, I don’t think to enforce the law. I don’t know how that’s going to work exactly,” said Robert Bucklin, owner of Bucklin’s Furniture.

Over at Southtown Cleaners, staff says they’re confident that loyalty will keep their customers coming back, and they’re also confident that a polite request will get anybody without a mask to put one on.

“I mean we will see what happens, but I don’t see it being a problem because are customers are loyal and people need their clothes cleaned,” said Southtown Cleaners employee Rachel Ratcliff.

Joplin’s new mask ordinance is set to expire at the end of the day on August 17th, unless the city council votes to extend it.