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Group behind Saturday's protest in SLC planning more events across the state

Posted at 10:35 PM, Apr 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-22 00:35:57-04

The group behind last weekend's protest in Salt Lake City calling for businesses to open back up is helping organize a walk in southern Utah. The organizer explained how they'll continue to be involved in events to spread their message.

Saturday's protest drew upwards of one to 2,000 people to Washington Square in Salt Lake City.

The newly-formed group Utah Business Revival coordinated the event, which protested stay-at-home orders, and the closing of businesses.

Protesters called for local governments to allow businesses to re-open, and life to get back to the way it was pre-COVID-19.

While the protest signs have since been put away, the sentiments of Utah Business Revival continue to be shared on social media.

"The bottom line is that our economy is going into, I believe, we are going to go into a depression," said Utah Business Revival founder Eric Moutsos.

He explained that they aim to host one event a week, as they try to get businesses back open.

"I believe that it's, we the people need that to take action," he said.

The events won't look quite like Saturday's protest.

Moutsos said they'll work with city mayors on these events. The idea is to gather in various cities across the state, with the goal of bringing in business to those areas.

He explained that they'd want local businesses to come and set up stands in parks, so that people can socially distance while supporting local businesses.

"Revive them with thousands of people, helping them financially-- and bringing hope," he said.

Utah Business Revival is helping to organize the Peaceful Walk for Freedom event in St. George on Wednesday.

Moutsos said this will be a social distance walk, and they're hoping that people will buy dinner from local restaurants afterward.

The group is also planning to be involved with an event in Vineyard on Saturday, May 2.

"Eric said, 'Would you mind if I invited our followers to come support your event?' And I said, 'Everyone is welcome,'" said Mayor Julie Fullmer.

Fullmer described the event, explaining that it's meant to draw in business to where those local shops are currently located in Vineyard.

"We are creating a route with for our bikers-- in coordination with our bike month-- and a driving route, a walking route, to get to these businesses and bring people to their front doors," she said.

She also mentioned that there are landowners offering up their properties, should any businesses want to set up a booth.

Moutsos is planning to have members of Utah Business Revival attend.

"We can come and bring money, and bring hope to those small businesses," he said. "So that we can get Utah open completely, and help."

Whether someone agrees that the orders and directives in place should be lifted, or they think it's not time to re-open businesses shut down by COVID-19-- Fullmer said people coming to support their local businesses will make a big difference for them.

"Getting the economy open is important," she said, adding, "and I think everybody is unified in that goal."

The Peaceful Walk for Freedom is planned for Wednesday, April 22 in St. George, from 5 to 6 pm at St. George Boulevard and Main Street.

The Vineyard event with the bike route to support local businesses is set for Saturday May 2, with details to be released here.