By Rachel Wulff

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Sacramento County started a campaign to help business owners struggling amid the pandemic get back on track by Halloween.

It’s welcome news for those hurt by the pandemic. Robert Watson says his business was cut in half when the COVID-19 quarantine hit.

“Luckily enough, we had the outdoor options so we were able to adapt really quickly,” he said.

But it’s not been the same for businesses in the R street building where Watson is located. Many are operating by appointment only for safety reasons. And some are struggling as the state grapples with controlling the number of COVID-19 cases and controlling the message as indoor operations resume

“They gave us the guidelines, but a lot of it is left up to the ownership of businesses to get creative and make it work for themselves,” Watson said.

That’s why the county is handing out flyers as part of their “Turn Sacramento Orange” campaign. It’s a play on the state’s color tier system for reopening amid the pandemic in conjunction with Halloween.

READ: San Joaquin County Businesses Questioning Whether They’ll Make It Through The Red Tier

“So we have four weeks to move from the red tier in the state system to the orange tier which will allow for a lot more open operations of businesses which is really our goal,” said Janna Haynes, with Sacramento County.

The county said the idea is to get the message out about wearing a mask, social distancing, practicing good hygiene, and not gathering indoors with people outside of your household, so the number of COVID cases can start to go down.

“So regardless of how people feel about COVID and restrictions, this is where we are at. And we want to move somewhere else where we can get the economy back on track,” Haynes said.

Watson was happy to help, posting the flyer on the front door of his business. He said businesses are scared and it’s not about Halloween. They know they are also up against the flu season.

“We are, unfortunately, at mother nature’s mercy, so it doesn’t hurt to try,” Watson said.

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