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Local authorities have responded to and investigated numerous complaints of non-essential businesses staying open during the COVID-19 shelter-at-home order. One of those investigations resulted in the City of Hollister revoking a business license, according to authorities.

As of April 8, nine businesses have been deemed non-essential and have closed their operations, and nine businesses are pending investigation, according to county Public Information Officer David Westrick.

One business in the City of Hollister—Smokey Pete’s Smoke Shop on San Benito Street—was initially non-compliant when contacted by investigators, and the city revoked its business license.

San Benito County as well as the cities of Hollister and San Juan Bautista combined resources to answer and investigate complaints. In Hollister, a total of 30 businesses were investigated for being open during the non-essential stay-home order, which expires at the beginning of May.

The county’s environmental health department investigated complaints related to 11 businesses, and the county’s code enforcement office investigated 11, according to county staff. Residents reported 26 instances of suspected non-essential business to a hotline established for reporting purposes.

Other non-essential businesses that complied with authorities’ requests to close are Ridgemark Golf Course, Sun City Tanning, Oasis Fitness/California Kurobuta Meat Club, Select Learning Techniques, Ashford Highlands construction, two roadside vendors, construction at a Miller Pacific site, Wayne Holman Construction site, Alcoholics Anonymous at Hollister Memorial Fellowship, Jagdish Construction at Clearview and Hilltop, construction at Martini Run, construction at Kane Drive and a K. Hovnanian Homes construction site.

The county public health department’s hotline for reporting non-essential business is (831) 636-4113. Businesses can also be reported by email at [email protected].

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