With restaurants ready to welcome customers inside next week, 32 local businesses say they're being treated unfairly.

Over 500 local employees are unable to get back to business with the rest of the Hudson Valley next week, and restaurant owners are demanding lawmakers to take action. Despite preparations to open under the state guidelines, 32 restaurants at the Poughkeepsie Galleria and Galleria at Crystal run say they are unfairly being prohibited from welcoming customers.

In a press release, the malls claim that their restaurants have been "investing significantly" to institute new safety and social distancing protocols. Brendyn Rojas, the owner of Jalapeño Mexican Grill in the Galleria at Crystal run, says that not including mall restaurants in the reopening is unfair.

We shouldn’t be penalized and not allowed to open simply because we are in the mall food court and do not have an external entrance.

Rojas says he and his employees need to get back to work to provide for themselves and their families.

Malls in Connecticut opened earlier this month and New Jersey shopping centers are now on schedule to welcome back customers on June 29. Governor Cuomo says he's eager to reopen New York shopping malls but is concerned about how to safely control large groups of people congregating indoors.

When it comes to reopening New York, the Hudson Valley is behind much of the rest of the state. If malls are allowed to open, it's unlikely that the Poughkeepsie Galleria and the Galleria at Crystal Run would be among the first to do so.

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