26 Mar Doctor Jon Cartu Reports – You’d be amazed how many San Antonio businesses are…
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If you went shopping for adult novelties Wednesday, you probably were out of luck. But if you stopped by a pawnshop — mission accomplished.
Why was one open but not the other on the day local stay-at-home orders kicked in?
Pawnshops are part of the city’s financial system, the part that also sells hocked wedding rings. In the parlance of local officials, they are “essential” businesses. Sex shops aren’t.
The city’s and Bexar County’s orders aim to shut down businesses — initially through April 9 — that aren’t essential to San Antonians’ day-to-day survival. Their employees stay home and their customers stay away, precluding potential exposure to the coronavirus.
Grocery stores, gas stations, financial institutions, health care facilities and pharmacies are no-brainers — clearly essential. But things get confusing after that.
Several drives around San Antonio revealed just how murky the line is between essential and nonessential businesses.
On a stretch of San Pedro Avenue inside Loop 410, there didn’t seem to be much rhyme or reason to which businesses heeded the stay-at-home orders.
Adam & Eve, which sells adult novelties, DVDs and lingerie, was closed early Wednesday afternoon.
“Thank you for practicing social distancing with us!” a sign on the door stated. “PLEASE KEEP YOUR DISTANCE. Safety is our priority.”
Down the street, the Chair King Backyard Store also was shuttered. A sign said it would remain closed until further notice as a result of the orders to stay at home.
The nearby Factory Mattress store, though, was open.
An official who didn’t want to give his name when reached by phone said Factory Mattress management confirmed with Mayor Ron Nirenberg’s office that the mattress chain is “part of the essential household goods portion of the exemption” outlined in the stay-at-home orders.
“So they instructed us that (it’s) business as usual,” the person said.
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Custom Sounds, which installs audio system, GPS systems and window tint in vehicles, was operating under an exemption. It also installs ignition interlock devices for those caught driving while intoxicated.
“We do breathalyzers for the state, and in order for the people who are sentenced to adhere to their punishments, we are required by law to install their breathalyzers and maintain their calibrations,” salesman Travis Coody said.
Action Pawn was open because it’s considered a financial institution, employee Alec Delgado said.
“A lot of people, with all the jobs going down, they need money,” he said.
Action Pawn makes loans of up to $1,400.
“People that are already short on money come and we try to help them out as best as we can,” Delgado said. “It’s a good thing that we’re open. I was kind of mad about it just ’cause I’d rather be home. But we’re helping people out. That’s pretty cool.”
Insurance providers also are exempt, but the Amtex Auto Insurance office in the 6900 block of San Pedro was shuttered. A sign on the door said it would remain closed until April 3 as a result of requests from local officials.
Here’s a quick rundown of which businesses city and county officials consider essential: Car dealerships, big-box retailers, liquor stores, restaurants, hotels, home builders, construction companies, oil refiners, accounting firms, taxis and ride-hailing operations, news media, dry cleaners, trash collectors, banks and insurance companies, child care facilities and funeral homes.
Add to that gun stores.
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One gun retailer said he was offering curbside service for customers.
“If you ask any of these (customers) ‘Hey, is your gun an essential part of your day?’ Heck yeah, totally,” said David Dury, an owner at Dury’s Gun Shop on Northeast Loop 410.
Edward DeWees, owner of Ranger Firearms,…