Texas Governor Greg Abbott just announced that the statewide executive stay at home order will expire April 30th:
“We’re ready to open Texas safely and in phases. We don’t want to reopen just to close again.”
“Phase one begins this Friday, May 1st.”
This means that restaurants, retail stores movie theaters and malls can open up for business with restrictions:
“Not all businesses can open at once… consistent with CDC guidelines we will open Texas businesses in phases.”
Occupancy will be limited to no more than 25%.
Governor Abbott’s determination was made based on advice from doctors and medical experts.
The problem is that barbershops, hair salons, bars, and gyms may be open by mid-May, according to Governor Abbott:
“We are working with our medical team as well as industry sectors to open these as soon as possible.”
These are mostly small businesses that will be further devastated if they are forced to remain closed until mid-May. Count on a huge outcry from these types of businesses. We’ve already seen protests from one Texas hair salon owner who refused to stay closed:
The Salon Á La Mode in North Dallas, Texas, opened up in defiance of lockdown orders in the city. The defiant owner says that she’ll ignore a citation and a cease and desist order from the city to shut down. This one act of defiance created a big protest one day later where salon owner Shelley Luther publicly ripped up the citation before a crowd of about 100 people (see video below).
Emergency orders that “non-essential businesses” remain closed during the Covid-19 crisis have devastated small business owners like salon owner Shelley Luther. She stood up for her right to open and then said she wouldn’t pay the fine she got from Dallas police officers.
It didn’t take long for the police officers to arrive minutes after Shelley Luthor opened the doors at the Salon A La Mode.
Luther said: “I’m not doing anything criminal, so they cannot arrest me.”
The officers left the first time without taking action. The salon opened and welcomed customers despite orders from
the county and state for non-essential businesses to remain closed.
There were a handful of people outside the salon supporting the owner’s decision, which she says was made despite the risk of a stiff fine.
Luther spoke out about her rights:
“I want them to know we have rights, but if you cannot afford to pay us and feed our families and help us because the systems are so backlogged, then you have to let us work.”
Other salon owners who remain closed and are losing money say it’s not fair if those who defy the order are not punished:
Stephanie Randle operates a salon in North Dallas and normally sees seven clients a day. For more than a month, she says she’s had no income while adhering to Covid-19 regulations that have kept hairstylists like her from working.
Now, this afternoon authorities paid another visit to Salon A La Mode. This time with the citation that comes with a fine of up to $1,000. The owner says she plans to fight it and continue operating.
Luther defiantly said: “I’m not paying this.”
Later, she received a cease-and-desist order to close, which she says she will also ignore.
One day later, Luther stood before about 100 supporters and protesters to rip up the citation she was issued by Dallas Police Officers.
Did she do the right thing? Should small businesses defy the shutdown orders? We’d like to know what you think.