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A New Way To Think About 'Essential' & 'Nonessential' Business Classifications In Kansas

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Picture of a women wearing a black hat standing in a shop full of quincenera dresses
Chris Haxel
Owners of nonessential businesses in Kansas, like Ana Medina of Moda Bella in Wyandotte County, were hit hard by mandated closings because of the coronavirus. Some groups say any future closings should be based on whether a business is safe or not, regardless of whether they are deemed essential.

Conservative groups in Kansas are making an argument for moving away from the essential-nonessential business designation that has proliferated since the pandemic.

Figuring out which businesses are essential and nonessential during a pandemic can be a hairy ordeal. That's why some conservative groups say states and counties should instead be determining which businesses are safe and which are not — so that a bar with a tricked-out ventilation system, rigorous social distancing and no karaoke can still be allowed to open.

  • Ryan Kriegshauser, Kansas attorney and legal counsel for the Trust Kansas Coalition
When I host Up To Date each morning at 9 a.m., my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. My email is steve@kcur.org.
The Kansas City region has long been a place where different ways of life collide. I tell the stories of people living and working where race, culture and ethnicity intersect. I examine racial equity and disparity, highlight the area's ethnic groups and communities of color, and invite all of Kansas City to explore meaningful ways to bond with and embrace cultures different from their own. Email me at luke@kcur.org.