NY jewelry store owner urges Gov. Cuomo to allow immediate reopenings before it's too late

A New York City jewelry store owner is calling on Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo to skip COVID-19 reopen phases and save businesses on the verge of shuttering permanently.

In a Tuesday interview on "Fox & Friends" with host Brian Kilmeade, Amor Fine Jewelry owner and founder of Re-Open New York Simcha Minkowitz explained that she had received tremendous support throughout her community after opening her store in defiance of the city's stringent coronavirus mandates -- and that even more businesses had joined her in the fight.

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"We have gotten over 250 more businesses that [have] joined our coalition. So, that's about 500 businesses that opened about 11 days ago," she stated. "And…I'm shocked at the amount of people [who] are giving us so much support. It's like, you don't really hear this so much in the regular media. But…I'm getting messages constantly thanking us for being open and for the courage."

Minkowitz told Kilmeade one man had called her to tell her that the Re-Open New York initiative had given him the courage to open his business and he has been able to feed his family again.

"So that was the whole idea and that was exactly what we wanted to accomplish," she remarked.

FILE- In this May 5, 2020 file photo a New York Metropolitan Transportation authority worker worker disinfects a subway train at the Coney Island Stillwell Avenue Terminal, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. New York City appears to be on track to begin loosening restrictions in June, but residents who don't yet feel comfortable commuting by subway may have to improvise, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday, May 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)

FILE- In this May 5, 2020 file photo a New York Metropolitan Transportation authority worker worker disinfects a subway train at the Coney Island Stillwell Avenue Terminal, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. New York City appears to be on track to begin loosening restrictions in June, but residents who don't yet feel comfortable commuting by subway may have to improvise, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday, May 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)

"And, there is just [a] double standard. Something that I just can't sit by and watch it happen. And, in front of my eyes, I'm watching people lose their businesses and I just need to -- people need to be encouraged to open their businesses and…skip the phases," Minkowitz urged.

On Monday, exactly 100 days since its first case of coronavirus was confirmed, New York City began Phase One of its reopening plan. The virus killed over 22,000 people in the city and approximately 205,000 have been infected.

New rules allow for select retail curbside pickup, construction, and wholesale supply chain and manufacturing. The city was required to meet seven health-related metrics before beginning reopening, and it was the last part of the state to do so.

That said, experts have warned states with loosened restrictions could see a potential upswing in the coming weeks. Texas reported hospitalization rates were going in the wrong direction.

Minkowitz pointed out that certain businesses are not able to provide for their customers with curbside service.

"I mean, you can't sell hardwood flooring from curbside pickup. You can't sell kids’ shoes from curbside pickup," she noted.

"You know, buying their kids a shirt from curbside pickup is just not realistic and it’s also going to drag the businesses much [farther] down and not give them the option to succeed," Minkowtiz asserted.

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"My sister is a single mom. She owns a gym in Brooklyn that usually has 350 kids come through in a week," she continued.

"Her business is really suffering and there are ways to implement safety measures and we are willing to do everything that we need to do. But, we just need to open now before the businesses don't have the opportunity to open again."