(CBS4) – More than 65 Loveland-based companies have signed a pact to stay open for business as Larimer County moves to Level Red restrictions. Level Red on the state’s COVID-19 dial is one step away from Level Purple, a complete shutdown, and restricts restaurants from having any indoor dining or guests.

The businesses that joined the agreement believed the county and state are imposing restrictions that are unfair and unnecessary to small businesses. “We are not going to shut down,” said Clay Caldwell, owner of Betta Gumbo in downtown Loveland.

Caldwell, who has used his business and kitchen to feed thousands of meals free-of-charge amid the coronavirus pandemic, said he joined the pact because the government was allegedly placing much blame on small businesses that may not have any record of COVID-19 spread.

“It is about fairness,” Caldwell told CBS4’s, Dillon Thomas. “Each of these businesses has families that they require to make money so they can live, and they have every right to that.” Caldwell, speaking on behalf of the growing list of companies agreeing to defy Level Red enforcement, said he believed big box stores were unfairly being allowed to move forward with operations while small companies with more direct oversight of guest safety are being chastised. READ MORE

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