Triangle business owners looking forward to serving clients again despite extension of stay-at-home order

Raleigh (Photo: MGN Online)

RALEIGH, NC (WNCN) — It’s likely to be a few more weeks before salons and gyms can reopen in North Carolina, but business owners say they are looking forward to serving clients again.

“Phase two” of Gov. Roy Cooper’s plan to reopen the state allows for limited opening of restaurants, bars, fitness centers, and salons that can follow safety protocols including the potential need to reduce capacity.

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“Our doors are shut. We have no money coming in, but all the bills are still going out. At the end of the day, it’s more important to make sure our community is safe and healthy,” said Tara Gardiner.

Gardiner co-owns Salon Blu. She say their doors have been closed since March 17, and then they’ve been relying on selling root-touch up kits and curbside pick-up for product.

She says they didn’t expect to be out of work for this long and that they’ve started donated weekly meals to their nearly 100 employees.

“There were a lot of tears, a lot of fear, a lot of uncertainty. A majority of our staff has been able to collect unemployment,” said Gardiner.

Despite the financial hardship, Gardiner supports Cooper’s plan to reopen in stages, saying social distancing is nearly impossible in a salon setting so she wants to make sure it’s safe for clients and staff.

“I think it’s a good decision. I have friends who own salons in Georgia. They don’t feel confident going back into the workforce right now,” Gardiner said.

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