BUTTE - The Butte-Silver Bow Board of Health will hold a special meeting this week to consider changing the Covid-19 restrictions to businesses.
On Dec. 22, the board made an emergency rule to increase the Covid-19 restrictions after a spike of cases in the community. This included a 10 p.m. closure time for all bars, restaurants and casinos, and establishments were held to a capacity of 50 percent.
These restrictions were not popular among many small businesses.
“I can understand what the Health Department is going through and also public safety is first and foremost as well, but also our point is too that we have a controlled environment where we’re doing our due diligence, we’re safeguarding our patrons, our guests, our staff, family and friends,” said Thomas Davis Jr., president of the Silver Bow Tavern Association.
However, if conditions improve, the board could extend the closing time to 12:30 a.m. and allow up to 75 percent capacity. For most bars and casinos, they would appreciate more time to stay open.
“I can’t imagine what Uptown bars are going through. I mean, the bulk of their business doesn’t start until 9 p.m. and probably goes to midnight, so they’re not able to capture those additional sales,” said Davis.
The health board had planned on making this decision on Feb. 10 but moved the meeting up after receiving many complaints from small businesses.
“We pay our taxes until 2 a.m. Unfortunately, we’re all, I think, under the understanding if we could just get a little of an allowance to 12 or 12:30 that would ease a lot of tension within the community,” said Davis.
The remote meeting will be held Thursday at 5:30 p.m. The public can comment by calling 406-497-5009.