With just $200 left in the bank, 74 year old Barber, Dee Goodman of the Old West Barber in Reno, Nevada felt that she had no choice but to open her business today or become bankrupt and homeless. Nevada’s Governor, Steve Sisolack (D), ordered all non-essential businesses closed on March 17 including barbers and hair salons. Unlike the Governor, who continues to receive his full salary and benefits, not everyone is able to sustain themselves during the unprecedented shutdown of what the Governor alone determines to be non-essential.
Today, her business was visited by an inspector of the Nevada Barbers Health and Sanitation Board who issued a $1000 fine for violating Directive 003 and “malpractice or incompetency.” It is still unknown if her business license with the City of Reno will be revoked. We will be following this case as it unfolds.
Because Dee is self-employed, she is not eligible for unemployment benefits and she was unable to obtain help from the current economic stimulus package passed by Congress which was more than happy to give $25 million to the Kennedy Center for the Arts but not to small struggling main street businesses such as Dee’s.
Dee opened her business to existing customers only and allowed only one customer at a time and both she and her customers wore masks. Her shop was sanitized with the precautions recommended by the government both before opening and in between each customer. Despite this, the State of Nevada issued the citation and determined that because it goes against an executive order of the Governor, she should be punished and made homeless for the sake of “public good.”
You can read the full report here: https://www.rgj.com/story/news/money/business/2020/05/01/reno-barber-cited-re-opening-during-mandatory-covid-19-closures/3067435001/