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Local Columbus business owner continuing to require masks in his stores

A customer enters a restaurant past a sign posted to the door requiring masks Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022, in Providence, R.I.
David Goldman
A customer enters a restaurant past a sign posted to the door requiring masks Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022, in Providence, R.I. As the omicron wave of the coronavirus subsides, several U.S. states including New York and Illinois ended mask mandates this week for indoor settings, while others lifted requirements at schools.

Masks are no longer required in public places in the city of Columbus and Worthington after a council vote Monday Night, but at least one local business owner said masks will still be required in his businesses.

“It just still doesn't feel right. And I think it's important for businesses to remember why they're in business in the first place, who they serve, and learn to separate the noise from the actual credible feedback from their community,” said Josh Quinn, who started his businesses about 15 years. ago.

The owners of Tigertree and Cub Shrub stores said they will still require customers to wear mask to shop in their Columbus area stores. Quinn said he and his wife were one of the first businesses to require masks in March 2020 and have required them throughout the pandemic. He said he wants to do his part to continue to keep his customers safe.

“And so knowing that we have a place that these people feel safe going, and the only detrimental thing for everyone else is to put a mask on and be slightly inconvenienced for five or 10 minutes. It's just not a hard call for me. I mean we have cancer patients who email us at Tiger tree and say that's the only place I could go Christmas shopping. I knew that you guys took it seriously,” he said.

Quinn said as a business owner doing what you believe it right is a good feeling.

“It's really liberating to say that I'm doing business the way I want to do business, I'm serving the people I want to serve. And there's going to be a few dismissive voices on the side and you learn to block them out and listen to the people that are optimistic and that are truly cheering you on. And that's where we're at,” he said.

Quinn said he has some metrics in mind that will lead him to no longer require masks in his stores but is hesitant to share them because things change so quickly.

Williams was a reporter for WOSU. Natasha is an Emmy Award-winning journalist and has more than 20 years of television news and radio experience.