Calais City Council announces businesses may re-open, business owners split on decision

Published: May. 18, 2020 at 5:00 PM EDT
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The Calais City Council decided last weekend that they are going to allow businesses to re-open under their own terms despite certain mandated restrictions from the state.

We spoke with folks around town who all think differently about whether it’s time to reopen.

“I think it was a good choice by them. I grew up in this area. With all the local businesses being shut down like they have been and the border being closed, all these families that own these businesses, just been killing them. It’s been hard on them. So, it’s good to see that they finally just said enough is enough, started opening up, opening their doors. Hopefully it wasn’t too little too late kind of situation," said Weston Kochendoerfer of


Most store windows are lined with signs, from mandating masks, to going out of business.

The Maine CDC has only confirmed two cases or COVID-19 in all of Washington County so far, both of whom have recovered.

“It was a very good thing. Especially for the small town Main Street here in Calais. It was struggling to begin with. This has just been devastating for people, so I think it was a very good thing for this particular area," said Danielle Smith, the Owner of Rachel Ashley Jewelers

Rachel Ashley Jewelers is still in compliance with the state’s restrictions and so are many of the other businesses in Calais.

But not all business owners agree with their council.

“How could you be so irresponsible? Where’s the safety net that they’re supposed to be providing to us with communicating to other business people and elderly? I have a hair stylist here. She says 80% of her clients are elderly with compromised respiratory. They’re terrified to come out," said Ralph Mercier, the Owner of Mercier’s Salon

The Calais City Manager told us they plan on opening the Calais City Building to the public on Tuesday.