‘I 100% need this job,’ mask-wearing Utahns provide greater revenue for local business

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Utahns prefer to go to businesses where everyone is masked up and businesses make more money if everyone is masked up. This is according to new data published by the University of Utah’s Marriner S. Eccles Institute for Economics and Quantitative Analysis.

Thirty-seven states now mandate masks including in Utah, where the mandate has been extended. Data shows those mandates have helped businesses stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Pie Hole, a local pizza joint is flattening out dough to flatten the pandemic. It has been open throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, which means before and during the statewide mask mandate.

“I would say to keep our business afloat,” said manager Danielle Wagstaff. “Two owners, this is their lifeblood and to give us all jobs; we would be jobless if we didn’t have them.”

Utah put that mandate into effect at the beginning of November and extending it now through the beginning of December.

“When we look at counties that had high compliance to low compliance, we see a much larger increase in economic activity and consumer confidence,” said economics professor Nathan Seegert.

University of Utah’s Marriner S. Eccles Institute for Economics and Quantitative Analysis published data that shows 51 percent of Utahns are more likely to go to a store if everyone was wearing a mask. Meanwhile, 13 percent are less likely to go to a store if only half the people sported masks.

Economic experts believe a flourishing economy right now can be achieved through high mask usage, take the Pie Hole for example, which increases consumers’ confidence.

“I would say it definitely helped business,” said Wagstaff. “People know we follow guidelines and our food is safe. I would say it has helped.”

Wagstaff said the new safety measures make employees happy which makes customers happy which means more revenue. 

“This job makes me happy and that’s what I like about this place,” said Pie Hole employee Weston Merkey. “I like to be happy when I am working.”

“They just put their nose to the grindstone,” said patron Benjamin Campbell. “I think the owner works hard to keep this place gong and their employees do as well.”

The owners recently installed an air conditioner that they said is on par with hospital quality.

“We probably have some of the safest air in Salt Lake City because of that,” said Wagstaff.
“There are countless businesses around the state and country like Pie Hole adjusting to the mask mandates.”

The pizza joint said customer safety should always reign supreme.

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