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Lifted mask mandates give Portland area businesses much needed boost

For the first time since the summer of 2021, smiling faces could be seen in local businesses this weekend
Published: Mar. 13, 2022 at 5:14 PM PDT
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PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV)-- For the first time since the summer of 2021, smiling faces could be seen in local businesses this weekend after Washington and Oregon lifted their indoor mask mandate.

FOX 12 spoke to some businesses in the Pearl District, and they said they saw a boost in business after the mandates were lifted. The general manager of Brix Tavern said there was a 20 percent increase in business just this weekend.

Across the street at The Star, server Andrew Johnson said they also saw more people out and about.

“Yesterday was wild,” Johnson said. “People were out having fun. Even after work I went to a couple spots around the neighborhood, and they were busy with people enjoying a little freedom.”

Johnson said he is happy to be able to see his customer’s faces again. On the doors of his restaurant, there are signs that say masking is still highly recommended. Johnson said this helps let people know they still understand the dangers stilled posed by COVID-19.

“We’re totally welcoming to those who want to wear a mask in here and we have signage that can be encompassing,” Johnson said.

Some businesses are still requiring masks. Portland’5 Center for the Arts is requiring their ticket holders to mask up and show proof of vaccination at the door. If you’re not vaccinated, then you must show a negative COVID-19 test 72 hours before your ticketed event.

But as masks come off, there is a sense of normalcy again Johnson said.

“I think people coming in enjoy seeing our faces and making that actual connection with people is fun and fresh after a long time,” Johnson said.