SAVANNAH, Ga (WSAV) – Two non-essential Savannah businesses tell WSAV News 3 they do not plan to reopen on Friday, April 24, following the governor’s latest announcement.
Governor Kemp’s latest order allows gyms, bowling alleys, hair salons, and body art studios to reopen their doors while maintaining social distancing and strict sanitation efforts. The owner of Kustom Hustle Tattoo Parlor said he is happy for other small businesses who have been struggling during this time, but for his line of work, proximity is a major issue.
“We’re going to side with caution because we don’t believe that this is all over with,” said Marcus Dove, the owner.
Dove said he appreciates the governor’s intentions, but his wife works in the Emergency Room at Memorial Health, and she told him she doesn’t believe it is safe to reopen.
The owner of Spa Bleu, Lenon Page, also believes the green light is “premature.” He said 6-feet of separation is nearly impossible.
“Every service we have is hands-on, massages, facials, nails, things like that, so we are hands-on so there’s not a way to, you know, provide that social distance and provide our service,” said Page.
Page told WSAV News 3 that his staff members generally see 50-100 clients per day. He said he has applied to different programs to support his staff, but most of his employees are relying on unemployment benefits. He asks that people don’t judge businesses for opening their doors.
“There’s a lot of people judging businesses for their decisions on reopening, and I mean, it’s a personal decision. With unemployment as it is right now, people have to do what they have to do to live, and I just hope everybody remembers just take as many safety precautions as we can as places reopen and just support each other in the decision, whether it be to open or stay closed,” said Page.
Both businesses plan to reopen on May 1st, but they said that may change depending on the case numbers. Kustom Hustle will only take appointments for the time being, and wear gloves and masks, as usual. Spa Bleu will also reduce their client load by half, and screen people as they come into the lobby.
WSAV News 3 also reached out to local gyms to find out their plans. We received this statement from the YMCA of Coastal Georgia:
“In light of Governor Kemp’s recent announcement that gyms in Georgia may reopen as early as April 24, we are carefully considering all of the health and safety precautions and guidelines surrounding this pandemic in order to determine when Y facilities will reopen to members. Please know that we are taking this decision very seriously, and we will communicate further information with you regarding our reopening as soon as possible.
We look forward to being able to open our facilities to our members as soon as we can ensure that it is safe to do so.“