Governor Cuomo issued a directive via Twitter Friday morning ordering all barber shops, nail and hair salons, and tattoo parlors to close, effective March 21 at 8 p.m.
The governor tweeted the directive at 8:48 a.m., stating, "These temporary closures are not going to be easy, but they are necessary to protect the public health."
"What we do next will have a massive impact on the trajectory of this virus in New York," the governor had tweeted earlier in the week. "We can only maintain public health by staying apart. The decision each of us makes now will impact us all tomorrow. Stay home."
Some area salons had closed in advance of the governor’s directive, asking clients to check the business’ social media pages to stay updated on when they’d reopen. Hair Effex in Bellmore, for example, closed on March 19, “with a tentative opening date [for] the week of April 1,” according to its voicemail. Who Does Your Hair?, also in Bellmore, closed at the end of business hours Friday.
Another business that was set to close before the mandate was Three Kings Tattoo in Merrick. Owner Chris Koutsis said the shop would close by 5 p.m. Friday. He noted that up until the governor’s directive, tattoo artists only saw clients “by appointment only.”
“We didn’t have the public come in [to the shop],” he said. “Whatever keeps us safe, we’re all for it.” Koutsis added that Three Kings would communicate with its clients via social media until further notice, and that people can purchase gift certificates from the business for future use.
Gina Zito and Maria Medina, who co-own Luminez Salon in Merrick, said the outbreak required them to “spread out” appointments so only one or two clients were present in the salon at a time. Up until the governor’s directive, however, Zito said residents were still calling in to try and get an appointment.
“It’s hard as an owner to turn things down,” she said, “but we’re trying our very best to stay positive.”
Zito said the salon will be selling gift cards and beauty products “curbside” through the closure; clients can contact Luminez at (516) 442-7707 or firstname.lastname@example.org with any requests they may have. Additionally, Zito will be doing live sessions on the salon’s social media pages to offer beauty tips and tutorials to clients remotely.
“We live in Merrick, so we’re making it very easy for people to contact us,” Zito said. “We are here, for services and for moral support.”
Since both communities have a large presence of personal care shops, Merrick Chamber of Commerce President Femy Aziz said, “This definitely will affect us quite a bit.”
This morning, Aziz sent an email to chamber members linking them to the United States Small Business Administration’s disaster assistance website — since Nassau County was officially designated as a “disaster area,” small business owners can now apply for low-interest loans to help them recover after the coronavirus outbreak.
Aziz said she hopes to disseminate the information to all businesses in Merrick and Bellmore, regardless if they are a part of a chamber. “In this time, as a business community, we have to all work together,” she said. “The downtowns are really the life of our town, and hopefully after this residents will have more fervor to shop local."