COLLEGE STATION, TX — Governor Greg Abbott is pushing his support for business by urging law makers to protect companies and individuals from coronavirus-related lawsuits.
”It’s a very difficult position to be in from business standpoint," said Albert Sorto, owner of MasFajitas. "Because you’re trying to protect everyone when they choose to come and eat,”
Sorto began his business in Caldwell 23 years ago. Now he has 6 locations. He opened his College Station location during the summer amid the pandemic.
The owner says he is very hands-on with his business, ensuring his customers and employees feel safe.
”Especially from cleaning purposes, you know, you want to make sure that you know you’re protecting the customer as well as the employees,” Sorto added.
According to the Texas Tribune, at least 917 complaints have been submitted to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration by Texans up until January 10.
Sorto says business has been doing well since they opened and is happy with all of Gov. Abbott's efforts to keep business open.
”We have had the health department here a couple of times just to look over and see if were abiding by the guidelines,” he said.
MasFajitas had to rollback occupancy to 50% three weeks ago due to a high COVID-19 hospitalization rate, but he continues to be reasonable with the rules and regulations in place.
”Another thing that we want to continue to do is to cut regulations," Gov. Abbott said. "We all know that Texas prides itself on having low and reasonable regulations.”
Venkatesh Shankar, professor of Marketing and Retail Studies at Texas A&M, believes this public message is not only to Texans, but also Big Tech companies who have decided to move to Texas, giving them reassurance that they will be protected.
”You have Tesla, Amazon, HP, Oracle, all of them announced moving to Texas" Professor Shankar said. "He would want to signal to them that this is a friendlier state,”
Professor Shankar believes this reassurance tackles the issue of boosting the local economy as well as tackling the unemployment rate, which is still sitting at 7.2% percent.