The video below is such a ray of sunshine during this dark time because it’s full of hope and bravery. A single store owner in NYC defied the draconian rules to stay closed and explains beautifully the reason behind his decision.
Tucker Carlson points out that there are certain businesses like liquor stores that are considered essential and that other stores are deemed nonessential and must stay closed. Carlson then introduces a shop owner in NYC who has defied the lockdown:
“Eliot Rabin owns the Peter Elliot Blue Men’s Fashion Boutique in New York. Rabin says that his store is open for business, and there’s no reason it shouldn’t be. Eliot Rabin joins us tonight. You are a very brave man.”
As it turns out, the shop owner is a military veteran and an absolute delight to talk to. He’s loaded with common sense as he explains his story to Tucker:
“I decided that I did not want anyone to dictate to me and destroy the soul of my business, which is 43 years old…and the soul of my business is my employees.”
Rabin made a great point about essential vs. nonessential businesses:
When I see that liquor stores are an essential business…well, I find that ludicrous. I find that liquor stores can be frankly existentially dangerous. So I opened with the idea that I want to protect my people, protect my country, and I’m not going to allow someone to dictate to me with something they’d have no idea.
“So this morning or this afternoon actually, the police came, they came in. They said, ‘are you open’? I said my door is open. I haven’t been in my shop for three weeks. We’ve been closed. We owe a lot of money to a lot of people. We’ve applied to every government agency that you could possibly think of. We’ve got registration numbers, and we’ve heard nothing back, but we did hear that the Shake Shack and Ruth Chris, etc., etc. and the cruise ships are getting my taxes. That’s ludicrous.”
“This country’s backbone of businesses like mine all over our country. I don’t find myself being brave; I find myself being reasonable. I find myself having common sense.”
“So doors open…the rules are posted on the door. We’re observing every single rule. and regulation that’s come down and then some.”
Tucker asked the store owner what the police did when they came to his store:
“So the police asked you are you open you said indeed I am and then what did they say did they give you a ticket no sir they did not, in fact, they looked at me they said you’re a veteran I said yes I am thank you for your service…”
The police officers thanked Rubin for his service and left…
This story is similar to another one in Texas where a hair salon owner opened her doors in defiance of the lockdown:
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.