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Midland Mayor Patrick Payton: “The Tall City is open for business”

Published: Sep. 17, 2020 at 6:00 PM CDT
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MIDLAND, Texas (KOSA) - Midland Mayor Patrick Payton held a news conference on Thursday, where he shared his support for local businesses struggling during the pandemic and stated that Midland is open for business.

The news conference came on the heels of Governor Greg Abbott releasing updated guidelines on businesses reopening.

Gov. Abbott announced loosened restrictions for many businesses, including expanding capacity to 75-percent by Monday. Abbott said that bars would not be reopening for the time being.

“Here in Midland, we’re open for business. Let me be very clear about something - there are certain businesses that still have restrictions. So I want to tell every business owner I’ve got your back, but I can’t trump the authority of the state. You’re going to have to take your own risks, but I’ll stand behind you and support you. Business leaders will stand behind you and support you. We’ve got to be open for business,” said Payton.

“And by the way, anybody that thinks 75-percent open isn’t going to be 100-percent open is really kind of being a little bit naive about this whole thing.”

Payton repeated that Midland would continue to handle the pandemic as it already has, by caring for one another and applying the principles of the free market.

“The fact of the matter is if you don’t feel safe going to a place of business that’s more open than you want it to be, you’re not going to go there.”

Payton also said that he would not be cracking down on businesses if he receives reports of them going over the occupancy limits.

"We’re not going to chase down people; we’re not going to take phone calls from people telling us that too many people are someplace, people can take care of themselves.

Payton says that he’ll continue to work with Midland Memorial Hospital to monitor case numbers and work on any problems that arise.

“We’re open for business. Tall City (Brewery) is open for business. The Tall City is open for business.”

Payton also referred to a letter that he and other West Texas mayors wrote back in April asking the state to allow businesses to reopen in their cities. You can find that letter here.

Copyright 2020 KOSA. All rights reserved.

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