Gov. Mike DeWine announced another sweeping round of closures on Wednesday afternoon, this time affecting hair and nail salons, tattoo parlors and barbershops throughout the state.
DeWine announced the closures during his daily press conference. In addition, DeWine also announced that all expect five Bureau of Motor Vehicle offices will be closed.
Theses latest business closures came as a shock to many around the state, including shop owners and employees in Athens.
“I think it’s a little too quick personally,” Owner of Carsey’s Barber Shop Andy Trout said. “There’s other businesses that would come into contact with more people in a day’s time.”
Carsey’s has four people working in the shop. According to Trout, at most there are only ever nine people in the shop at one time — a number well below the amount of people allowed during gatherings.
Attractions Hair & Nail Salon in downtown Athens also falls below that number most days. Salon Manager Troy Bolin believes that orders like this take into account the larger salons that are common in Columbus.
“We’re not like that,” Bolin said. “We don’t have large numbers at any time.”
Another reason for the order may be the nature of the business, regarding how close stylists and barbers must be to their clients.
For the staff of Attractions, the announcement was a let down, as they had been putting extra effort into sanitizing the salon.
“We thought we were doing the right thing,” Bolin said. “It was pretty depressing.”
The aspect most depressing for both businesses is unemployment. It is common for those working in salons and barbershops to be self-employed or work on commission, meaning qualifying for unemployment will be more difficult.
“I think everybody is pretty disappointed, mainly because they will be out of work,” Bolin said, adding that the stylists at Attractions are highly stressed about the situation.
“The girls (stylists) have kids, some of them are single moms, so it will be very difficult for them,” Bolin said. He is currently working on helping them through the unemployment process.
The situation is the same for the barbers at Carsey’s, who are each trying to figure out what they will do now.
“I might be delivering pizza sometime soon,” Trout said. He hopes that they will be able to open back up before too long.
Hope is what is getting the stylists at Attractions through this time of uncertainty. Bolin says that they are hoping they will be able to open back up within two weeks.
“Everyone is hanging on to hope, but once that hope is gone it will become a desperate situation,” Bolin said. “We can withstand a couple of weeks, but if it goes beyond two weeks it gets difficult.”
Attractions was playing it by ear for the remainder of the day on Wednesday. The salon normally closes at 7 p.m., however hours were extended until 9 p.m. to accommodate clients who were taken by surprise by the announcement.
“I’ve got people calling me, “Can I come in and get my hair cut?” Bolin said. “It’s something so little that people don’t think about.”
Despite the extra stress this brings to the stylists at Attractions, Bolin and the other stylists believe that things have to be done in times of crisis.
“It’s a knock-out situation,” Bolin said. “What can you do? You’ve just got to roll with it.”