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Arizona small businesses facing another obstacle with 8pm curfew

Posted at 4:47 PM, Jun 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-02 15:16:47-04

PHOENIX — Arizona is now under a statewide curfew following major protests over the last week.

While much of the protesting was peaceful, it became clear that some were just out to take advantage of the pain many were trying to express.

Looting at major retailers in Scottsdale and criminal destruction in downtown Phoenix prompted the 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. shutdown.

"Obviously, we support people's right to protest and get their message across," said Jason Key.

Key is the owner of The Kettle Black Kitchen and Pub off 1st and Adams streets in downtown Phoenix.

Like so many others, staying afloat during the COVID-19 outbreak has been a challenge, to say the least.

"We were scared, we were nervous," said Key regarding the uncertainty he felt while being shut down during the Pandemic.

The governor recently gave restaurants the go-ahead to reopen, but the death of George Floyd changed it all again.

"I'm heartbroken, I really am, this is a crazy time we're living in," said Key after watching the video of Floyd's arrest.

He's watched as protests filled the streets outside his business for the last four days.

What began as peaceful many times took a disturbing turn when some groups turned to violence, looting and property destruction.

"We decided let's just chill for the weekend and get going on June first," said Key.

But with a curfew now in place to curb those actions, he's now facing yet another obstacle.

"It's very tough, the curfew is going to hurt us as well for this next week, we just go with the punches," said Key.

Over the next week, they'll close down at 8 p.m. and is focused on ensuring employees make it home safely.

"It's just been a roller coaster man, like you don't know what's coming next," said Juan Cornejo, owner of Taco Boys.

On Sunday at Taco Boys off 7th and Roosevelt streets, protesters clashed with police right outside their doors.

They've decided to shut down at 6 p.m. for the next week just in case.

"If we would have waited to close at eight and started picking up cause it takes us about an hour to close, we would have been in the middle of everything, it would have been chaos," said Cornejo.

A rough start as they've only been open since November.

However, As concerned as both businesses are over their livelihood, they're equally concerned with seeing justice for all.

"We hope we can come up with a solution as a human race as soon as possible," said Key.

"I hurt for my people, so I completely understand the outrage," said Cornejo.