SALT LAKE CITY — More than 100 people have said they will be attending the "Salt Lake City Safe Business Rally/Revival" event in downtown Salt Lake City Saturday evening.
The rally is being organized by Eric Moutsos, who started the Utah Business Revival Facebook group.
“It’s more of a message to say, 'Hey look, we can do this and we can do it safely and we can do it efficiently and we can open up Utah immediately,'” he said.
When it comes to re-opening everything back up, Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson said they are working as fast as they can, but they have to put health and safety first. She cautioned anyone thinking about going to the rally Saturday to understand the risks.
“The protest being planned tomorrow is a violation of our order. We don’t know exactly where it’s going to land, but local law enforcement needs to be aware of that. They haven’t announced where, but I would caution people mass gatherings are our biggest enemy, they are our biggest enemy,” she said.
Moutsos believes the Salt Lake County stay-at-home order, which includes mandatory closing of some businesses, is unconstitutional. He says Iif people can pack into grocery stores, all businesses should re-open.
“We’re still going to have a virus and we are going to have the effects of a crashed economy and we can't do it. So, the commonsense approach is, if we can do it in Costco, we can do it in every business and we can be safe about it,” he said.
Friday, Governor Gary Herbert announced a plan to re-open parts of Utah's economy that have been significantly impacted by COVID-19. For more information on the plan, click here.
While Moutsos said he understands the threat of the virus is very real, he believes the economy needs to be re-opened immediately.
“Not being able to provide for your family, in my opinion, food for your family, not being able to provide, is a bigger health crisis than any virus on any planet,” he said.
But now is not the time for a rally, Mayor Wilson said.
“From what I’ve heard, they are pushing for social distancing, but a rally is a rally is a mass gathering and its prohibited,” she said.
A spokesperson for the Salt Lake City Police Department said they are aware of the event and are not planning to take any action unless absolutely necessary. Their goal is to educate people about social distancing, as law enforcement has said since the first stay at home order was put in place.
The group is encouraging social distancing at the event. Everyone is encouraged to get take-out from a local restaurant and come together for a picnic, Moutsos said.
As of Friday evening, the Facebook event for the rally showed more than 150 people saying they will be attending and close to 500 others saying they are interested.
The location of the rally was announced Saturday afternoon: The Salt Lake City County Building from 5-7 p.m.
Further instructions for those wishing to attend: