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Santa Barbara Co. businesses express frustration with new stay-at-home order

Posted at 7:59 PM, Dec 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-09 02:21:17-05

Some small businesses in Santa Barbara County are upset about the recent Southern California Regional Stay at Home order saying they shouldn't be lumped in with places like Los Angeles County.

Bob Spallino, owner of Pizzeria Bello Forno in Old Town Orcutt, says he’s frustrated with this second closure because he feels like outside dining shouldn't be shut down, especially after having to spend so much money to follow COVID-19 guidelines.

"They told us outdoor dining was safe, that's why we spent the money we did. Now they're saying it's not safe but they have no evidence to support it," Spallino said.

He adds he doesn't understand why the County of Santa Barbara is being lumped in with Los Angeles County.

As of Tuesday, Santa Barbara County has 51% ICU availability versus LA County which has 11.8% ICU availability.

"Downtown LA is completely different than Old Orcutt. Every county, every community, every hospital should be looked at on their own merits and leave it up to us if we exceed the emergency room or ICU capacity we will be responsible,” Spallino said.

In Solvang, Lucas and Lewellen Vineyards had to shut down their tasting rooms leaving them in the dark once again.

"It is definitely not a great situation. Luckily, we do have wine club members that support us but talking with my boss this morning who manages the tasting room, you know, the phones are not ringing off the hook right now,” Kristy Maurer said.

She thinks the stay-at-home order is doing more harm than good.

"Personally, I think this last go-around of stay-at-home order is a little arbitrary. It's not across the board and I don't think they're taking a close look at what they're actually doing,” Maurer said.

Spallino said he doesn't plan on removing his outside dining anytime soon.

"If people want to take something out and sit down and eat it or have a Coke while they are waiting for their to-go order, I spent all this money they might as well listen to some nice Christmas music and wait for their order to be filled,” he said.