Facebook group discusses which Springfield businesses comply with city ordinances

Published: Jan. 11, 2021 at 9:48 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - A new social media group encourages people to call out businesses that don’t enforce Springfield’s face-mask ordinance and to praise those that do.

“Some businesses are enforcing it and others are not. That creates the problem,” said former Springfield mayor Robert Stephens.

Stephens said he wants to see his Springfield neighbors overcome the coronavirus. He helped start a Facebook group called, Springfield Supports Masks: Businesses Who Do and Don’t. He said the goal was primarily to applaud the businesses that do abide by city ordinances with masking and capacity limits. Sometimes, he said those who don’t comply are called out.

“Actions have consequences. If you’re not wearing the mask when you should be, and somebody takes your picture, that’s not our issue. That’s your issue,” he said.

Stephens said he was hoping the group would help customers decide where they felt safe to do business. That’s when a spreadsheet came along, keeping track of complaints.

“If I look at them and they’ve got three positive and one negative, I can use that information as to whether I want to go there for lunch, dinner or whatever,” he said.

When Stephens and his friend Bob Horton first started the group just earlier this month, they hoped to maybe get about 200 members. As of this week, over 2,000 have joined.

Horton said he wanted to remind people about the importance of masking through the group.

“If I wear a mask to a business but yet there are people in there that don’t wear masks, that’s a risk to me. It’s a risk to the workers in there,” he said.

Right now, anyone wanting to report a business or individual not following the rules is asked to call 9-1-1.

“Springfield Police Department has a ton to do, and it’s hard for them to respond to every call,” Horton said.

Horton and Stephens said they are hoping their group will encourage more businesses to make their customers comply, so fewer complaints are necessary.

“It’s not that much to expect somebody to wear a mask for 20 minutes when they run into Walmart or Target or somewhere,” Stephens said.

Horton said some people from other cities and states are asking to join the group. He hopes they’re either considering visiting the area, or trying out a similar movement in their own hometown. Horton said they will accept anyone who asked to be a part, but will remove anyone who makes inappropriate posts.

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