Many local owners and managers of hair salons and gyms were scrambling to come up with plans to deal with the impending loss of income after an executive order by Gov. Andy Beshear mandated the closure of public-facing businesses by 5 p.m. March 18 to slow the spread of the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.
Kaley Bean, an owner of Owensboro Gymnastics & Fitness Center at 3239 Alvey Park Drive East, said the closure will be a financial hit for the family-owned business.
“We won’t have the income that we normally have,” she said.
And there have been upset customers, Bean added.
“They’re all pretty bummed, to say the least. They’re definitely wishing they could continue on. Those people get in a routine and people who like to work out, they like to be able to do it every single day,” she said.
But despite the setbacks, Bean understands why the business has to close.
“We hate it for the kids in the community but we understand that we have to close to help out the community,” she said.
Bethany Norris, salon manager of All About You Salon and Spa at 603 Salem Drive, said the business had been serving about 40 clients per hour since it opened at 9 a.m. Wednesday.
“Usually that’s the numbers we would see on a Thursday or Friday, which are our two busiest days,” she said.
Norris has thought about the possibility of opening the retail portion of the business to still make money but questioned if it was worth it.
“People aren’t supposed to be out of their homes except for necessities and shampoo is not really a necessity,” she said.
Norris encouraged self-employed people to take the pandemic “one day at a time.”
“We’ll all come out of this just fine,” she said.
Katelyn Hawkinson, owner of Head Over Heels Salon on 116. East 18th St., first heard about the order through Facebook yesterday.
“We are going to take this day by day but it was a really big shock,” she said.
Hawkinson said she has gotten many questions from clients on when the business will reopen. Hawkinson was unsure.
Other clients have sent messages of support, the small business owner added. Hawkinson said she doesn’t have the option of getting unemployment.
“I’m self-employed. It’s going to be really hard on all of us,” she said.
Hawkinson said being able to cut hair from home is not an option and doesn’t want to expose her newborn child to possible disease.
“I worked really hard to get where I’m at and I can’t ... go in to do some haircuts and pick and choose who I’m willing to take,” she said.
Other venues that were ordered to close included concert halls, movie theaters and sporting event facilities. It is unknown when the businesses will be able to reopen.
Trey Crumbie, 270-691-7297, email@example.com.