HOUSTON - Business owners big and small are now reacting to the major news coming from Governor Greg Abbott Tuesday to do away with the state mask mandate and move to full capacity for all businesses.
"Too many small business owners have struggled to pay their bills, this must end," said Governor Greg Abbott. "It is now time to open Texas 100%"
FOX 26 spoke with businesses Tuesday, many saying it’s time to take these steps forward including restaurant owner, Tommy Karagiannis, who runs Midtown Bar and Grill.
"I’m ecstatic that we are at full capacity again, I feel like we’ve been educated on Covid-19 for over a year," said Karagiannis.
Karagiannis has been following each order by the governor and believes the decision should come down to the customer.
He will be taking down his "mask required" signs come Wednesday, March 10 when the order goes into effect. He also plans on working with customers and employees with their comfort levels on a case-to-case base.
By next Wednesday, all business will be able to operate at full capacity.
The governor is also doing away with the statewide mask mandate, a move that some business think is too much too soon.
"It’s not safe to tell the whole state of Texas we are going to uplift the mandate, as if to say COVID is completely gone," said Tina Penn who owns a Salon, called Chic Style by Tina.
Christopher Barry, who owns Buddy’s, a bar and restaurant believes the move was too quick. They will still require masks of customers and will continue with the safety guidelines.
He tells FOX 26 that with the new mandate, it’s putting the burden back on local businesses.
"We are not first responders, but we are front line people," said Barry. "We are changing two variables at the same time, so if the numbers do increase, what do we attribute that too?"
Major grocery chain, H-E-B also announced changes Tuesday.
They will continue to require masks for the employees and venders, but customers will not be required to wear a face mask. However, the company is still encouraging shoppers to wear one while shopping.