'It's been positive:' Police in 5 cities respond to complaints of nonessential businesses still open

Aleksander Gerasyuta

GERMANTOWN -- Craft stores and CBD shops joined the list of nonessential businesses in Wisconsin, with the Wisconsin Economic Development Commission clarifying which businesses are considered "essential," and therefore, permitted to remain open during Governor Tony Evers' "Safer at Home" order that took effect on March 25, and order police are enforcing. "Everybody that comes in says, 'Gosh, we are so glad that you're open,'" said Aleksander Gerasyuta, owner of Beyond Full Spectrum. When Contact 6 spoke with Gerasyuta in Waukesha Wednesday, he knew his doors could soon close. It happened Thursday. "We're gonna follow whatever the rules are given to us," said Gerasyuta.

Beyond Full Spectrum

Captain Todd Grenier

Gerasyuta thought his store was exempt from Governor Evers' "Safer at Home" order because he sells some groceries and personal care products. However, the WEDC added CBD shops and craft stores to the list of nonessential businesses that already included furniture stores, golf courses and salons. "We've only had to talk to four businesses so far," said Captain Todd Grenier with the Germantown Police Department. "We had to do a smoke shop, martial arts studio. We had the grooming section of Petco, and also Michaels. It's been positive. They understand." Police in Menomonee Falls, Racine, Waukesha and Wauwatosa confirmed they were also responding to nonessential businesses -- the doors locked at places like Hobby Lobby, JOANN Fabrics and smoke shops.

Hobby Lobby

Gerasyuta said he hopes to get by with online sales. "Some businesses will survive," said Gerasyuta. "Some businesses will not." Germantown police said they're not going door-to-door asking for compliance, but they are responding to complaints, and charges could be referred to the district attorney if businesses don't close.