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Bedford business rejects mask enforcement, cites itself as 'no-judgment zone'

Something Else Boutique owner Jenee Welsh says candy and water are provided so that people don't have to wear a mask. WDBJ7 photo.
Something Else Boutique owner Jenee Welsh says candy and water are provided so that people don't have to wear a mask. WDBJ7 photo.(WDBJ)
Published: May. 29, 2020 at 4:56 PM EDT
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"You can choose which side you want to play on or if you just want to do your own thing. Just know this is a no-judgment zone," said Jenee Welsh, Something Else Boutique owner.

Like many business owners, Welsh is responding to Governor Northam's

, which took effect Friday.

She says she doesn't want to upset anyone who comes into her store, so she won't ask people to put a mask on.

"As a business owner, my goal is to not upset anyone or offend anyone," said Welsh.

from the governor's office, business owners may choose to refuse patrons who do not abide by the order.

Exceptions exist for those with medical conditions or who have difficulty breathing.

But to make sure everyone can feel comfortable, Welsh has sanitizer and masks right outside her door for those who want one.

"So I've provided masks for people who do not have them," said Welsh. "If you have a medical condition and cannot wear them, I'm not gonna ask you why."

A look inside shows a mixed response among customers.

One person says the order comes too late in the game.

"Three months is a little late in the game," said Vanessa Goughnour. "I don't know why all of a sudden he's making it to where everybody has to wear one out in public."

Welsh also has water and candy outside her door.

She says this is because -

"Order 63 has lots of clauses in it. It says when you're eating and drinking that you are not required to wear a mask, so some people don't want to wear a mask so we have provided refreshments that will allow them to walk around without a mask," said Welsh.

With a sign out front, customers can be aware of the situation.

Copyright 2020 WDBJ7. All rights reserved.

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