Written by Edward Smith
The City of Fresno is updating twice weekly its list of businesses deemed “essential,” and is actively notifying businesses that they are out of compliance.
The list will be updated on the city’s website at 4 p.m. Tuesday and Fridays until March 31, when the emergency order will be reviewed.
“Now that we have passed the initial phase of public information regarding essential businesses that may remain open…we are changing our procedure for making changes to the exempt/non-exempt business list,” said a news release from Mark Standriff, director of communications and public affairs for the City of Fresno.
The changes to the list outlined in Mayor Lee Brand’s emergency order issued last week are largely based on Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Essential Critical Infrastructure. Gov. Newsom declared a shelter-in-place order March 19.
Some notable changes in the City of Fresno include allowing fabric companies to do pick-up and drop-off orders. People had notified the City of their desire to make medical masks out of fabric.
Self car washes have also been deemed essential.
The City is largely finding companies out of compliance from reports from the public, according to Christina Roberson, assistant city attorney.
As of yesterday, 36 notices have been issued to businesses the City has deemed non-essential, according to an email with Roberson.
“A non-compliant business can face a range of penalties, including an administrative citation, a criminal citation, and revocation of the Conditional Use Permit for operation,” Roberson said in the email. So far, the City has only issued notices and has not placed penalties on any businesses.
According to reporting by KMPH news, among the businesses forced to close was Sportsman’s Warehouse, which sells camping supplies as well as guns and ammunition. Fox 26 meteorologist Kevan Ramer was in line at the store Monday when a Fresno police cruiser pulled up to the store. Soon after an announcement was made that the store was being forced to close.
“Due to mandates from the city we are now closed until further notice,” according to a message callers to the store received on Wednesday.
The City Attorney has been working with Code Enforcement to find violators. The Fresno City Council placed authority of the Code Enforcement Department under the City Attorney’s Office.
Businesses are being served notices to cease operations in-person by the department and by email and phone.
The list of essential businesses will be updated and posted on the Fresno City website at this link.