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Groups rally in St. George, Salt Lake City to reopen Utah businesses

Apr 17, 2020, 11:09 AM

protestors COVID-19 reopen businesses...

Protestors hold a rally in support of reopening businesses in St. George, saying the government's stay-at-home directive is an overreach. (KSL TV)

(KSL TV)

Some small businesses in Utah say they just want to start opening again — organizing a rally to get their message across to the state.

A group rallied in St. George Thursday night, and another is planning a rally for Saturday in Salt Lake City. About 100 Utahns gathered outside the Washington County City Offices to protest the state’s stay home directive.

They say the economy should reopen right now, and are calling the governor’s stay-at-home directive an overreach.

Organizers announced Saturday’s event in Salt Lake City will be at 5 p.m., with the location announced on their Facebook pages right before.

At least two Facebook groups posted about the rally, one is called “No More Social Distance,” and the other is “Utah Business Revival.”  They are asking the state to begin the reopening process.

One of the organizers, Eric Moutsos, said he knows the coronavirus is dangerous — but the shutdowns have a devastating impact.

“The effects of not opening up our economy immediately, the ramifications are going to be unparalleled to anything we’ve seen,” he said.

He told KSL TV the focus is on small businesses and their desire to get back to work. He owns a small solar broker company and said this situation has wreaked havoc on him.

Moutsos said he also believes Salt Lake City’s reporting website and tipline should be taken down.

“To scare people in their house, and a neighbor is going to call on a neighbor and have police presence come — it’s unacceptable,” he said.

Police say they will allow the protest to happen, as long as the group maintains social distancing.

“Some people are going to say that this is reckless, right? But how much more reckless is it, standing in Costco line, and being corralled into a couple different places city, how much more reckless is it?” Moutsos said.

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Groups rally in St. George, Salt Lake City to reopen Utah businesses