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Northeast Ohio business owners weigh-in on mask mandates

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The debate for small businesses is back, regardless of vaccination status.

CLEVELAND — Masks or no masks? The debate for small businesses is back, regardless of vaccination status.

“Vaccination is a good thing. At the same time, we are still seeing cases go up,” said Sam Slyman, manager of Slyman’s Downtown. “We are not sure whether we should have our masks on or masks off.” 

If you walk into Slyman’s, not much has changed since the start of the pandemic. 

The restaurant is currently carry-out only and is requiring customers and employees are also required to wear masks indoors. 

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“We have made it permanent,” Slyman said.

Popular or not, the business owner says the rules are in place out of an abundance of caution. 

Customer Liz Scott admits she doesn’t love wearing masks but does say she sees the purpose. She’s over 60 and also suffers from asthma. 

“Our lives are at stake,” Scott said. “As long as our lives are at stake we need to do what we need to do to protect others and ourselves.” 

While businesses like Slyman’s continue to mask up, spots like Nano Brew in Ohio City are waiting to make that decision. 

RELATED: Cuyahoga County reaches ‘substantial’ COVID-19 spread; CDC recommends vaccinated people wear masks indoors

“We are listening to the CDC,” said Sam McNulty, owner of Nano Brew and multiple other restaurants in Ohio City. 

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McNulty continues to rely on the precautions they have in place and are also relying on their staff being vaccinated. 

“Our team is 100% vaccinated,” said McNulty. “We feel confident.” 

As cases continue to climb across the nation and here in Northeast Ohio, with more businesses requiring masks, McNulty believes mandating harsh restrictions on local businesses are unnecessary if the right precautions are being met.  

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