Businesses share mixed feelings about reopening in Georgia Friday


EVANS, Ga. (WJBF) –  Local small businesses shared mixed feelings about reopening this Friday, despite Governor Brian Kemp’s green light.

A new hairstyle, a manicure and 30 minutes on the treadmill.  All of this sounds good if you have been quarantined inside of your home.  But while some places are rejoicing others are saying, not so fast.

“I don’t think that we are essential.  I think that we are a luxury,” that’s what Krystina Carrino, an independent contractor at Ready Set Relaxx Day Spa and Salon, said to NewsChannel 6.

Her clients will not be entering quietly into the salon that offers a moment of peace anytime soon. Carrino said services such as massages, skin care and hair removal will need to wait because she can’t social distance nor can she have a client wear a mask while she performs.

“We can’t get the PPE we need and even if we could, I believe that the first responders and the hospitals should have it before we do,” she said.

Carrino also said many of her clients are high risk and she has a child who is too.  So, she plans to wait longer for the curve to go down.

She’s not the only salon staying closed Friday.  SoClays Haven of Beauty in Augusta posted to Facebook it will delay reopening until further notice.

But others will. Ashley’s Barbershop is set to open and if fact, Barber Dexter Elam began wearing masks with his clients prior to closure.

Also, Suzette’s Salon in Evans is taking appointments starting Friday, but limiting clients each day. Those clients can expect staff to follow a long list of guidelines such as wearing masks and disinfecting.

Evans Fitness Club members can expect lots of cleaning too.

“We’ve spent weeks cleaning all the equipment, shampooing all of the carpet. We have a fogger that sanitizes the entire building, which we will be doing every night after we close,” said co-owner Dr. Lisa Katz.

She added that staff and members will remain six feet apart.  The kids area, steam and sauna, and group exercise classes are all closed, though people can access classes online.

Members, however, can use every other machine and lift weights, just clean everything when you are done.  

Evans Fitness Club is not a chain, so financially, they were getting to the nailbitting end.  All the while they did not lay off or furlough anyone.

“We have applied for the PPE loan from the government,” she said.  “We spent quite a few hours a day working to get that.  We still haven’t received the money, but we’re told we will any day now.”

Carrino was hoping to apply for help on the day she’s slated to open.

“As an independent contractor I’ve always had a six week emergency fund, that’s about to run out,” she said.


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