By Kimberly Davis

ARDMORE, Pa. (CBS) — Pennsylvania counties surrounding Philadelphia are watching anxiously as the city’s new COVID-19 restrictions soon go into effect. Several business owners in the suburbs are concerned that restrictions are coming their way as well.

As Philadelphia prepares for a partial shutdown on Friday, restaurants in surrounding counties are gearing up for potential new clientele, which they say are welcomed.

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“Hopefully, everything will stay open. We need the business,” Buena Vista Mexican Restaurant manager Jorge Martinez said.

Martinez is just one of several business owners across the country with that same wish. Martinez is the manager of Buena Vista Mexican Restaurant in Wayne. Though their doors are open now, there is some concern with the closure of indoor dining in Philadelphia.

“That’s very bad for us if they do that, more for the economy,” Martinez said. “I don’t know how we’re going to do everybody in Montgomery County.”

For now, Montgomery County is not following Philadelphia’s lead.

In a news conference on Wednesday, the chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners said it’s a balancing act.

“We’re trying to balance the livelihood of so many people in our community who own many of these small businesses and allow them to operate safely and in full compliance with all guidance,” Dr. Valerie Arkoosh said.

Businesses that aren’t following protocols will be shut down, especially if an outbreak is linked back to the establishment.

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“It is helpful to have a regional approach to these issues,” Arkoosh said, “and we are waiting to see if there are additional, more region-wide measures that the state does intend to take. I’m not aware of any.”

If you’re looking to dine indoors outside of Philadelphia, restaurants in Wayne have this to say.

“They can come,” Martinez said. “We welcome, we welcome.”

Montgomery County officials are reminding residents to continue to wear their face masks and try to limit non-essential travel if possible.


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Kimberly Davis