Some Chatham Co. businesses will choose to remain closed

Some Chatham Co. businesses will choose to remain closed

CHATHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - Following Georgia Governor Brian Kemp’s directive to allow some businesses to reopen starting as soon as Friday, some say they won’t.

"It's way too soon, especially for bowling alleys because there's so much that has to be sanitized,” Premier Bowl & Bistro employee Renee Harden said.

Upscale Hair salon owner Lacey Green and Harden both say Governor Kemp’s order to reopen businesses came way too soon.

“Honestly, I just touched my glasses so anywhere you go people are going to touch their face to scratch an itch, to adjust their glasses anything like that so if they’re touching their face, they’re getting those germs on their hands and they’re sticking them in the bowling ball,” Harden said.

“When you think about the money part of it, sure I want to go back, but reality of it is we can’t, not right now because I have no way to tell who has it and who doesn’t,” Green said.

Green says it’s been almost five weeks since she’s been open for business, but even still health is more important than the money.

"Being a stylist and a salon owner for almost 20 years, this is the first time I've ever been closed for this amount of time, so it has been hard but what I will say is I've endured it and I'm content with just making sure my clients are safe, she said.

Meanwhile, Harden says a bowling alley would need to make a lot of adjustments to meet the criteria Gov. Kemp stated in his order, potentially creating an even bigger risk of spreading the virus.

“We have a total of 14 lanes and each, what we call a cul-de-sac, where the seating is at the bowling lanes. There’s two in a cul-de-sac, so that’s pretty close quarters, so we’d have to keep people at every other cul-de-sac,” Harden said.

Both Green and Harden say they hope people will make smart decisions for the safety of everyone.

Some Chatham Co. businesses will choose to remain closed

Jessica Mock is the owner of Southern Sugaring.

She says after Governor Kemp's announcement that businesses like hers could re-open this week, she was excited to get back to work.

“When we started actually doing the research on what this was going to look like, we realized we needed so much more time than four days to reopen our salon," said Mock.

However, after talking with her team, other salon owners and reaching out to customers for their thoughts, she changed her mind.

“At one point, I felt like it was almost too complicated to even be worth reopening right now due to the fact that we’re so limited on how many services we can even offer in a certain time period because of the restrictions.”

Mock says she plans on reopening May 2nd with limited services and taking temperatures at the door.

But after being closed for over a month, she says she's donated all of the salon's PPE and is worried now that salons are opening, it'll put a strain on supplies.

“With this sudden reopening, we’re kind of scrambling to find the proper equipment that will need to not only keep our employees safe, our clients safe and everyone’s families”

They’re feeling the same way at Crossfit Steadfast.

“I just personally feel like it’s rushed and I wanted to trust my gut and go ahead and stay closed a little bit longer,” said Sabrina Nedab, co-owner of Crossfit Steadfast.

Nedab says she closed her doors in March as well and was overwhelmed when she heard about the possibility of reopening.

She says she’s unsure when she’ll re open, but she’s following the recommendations from Savannah Mayor Van Johnson.

For now, they’re still finding a way to do businesses by offering online classes.

“I would say probably for most of the crossfit gyms, it doesn’t have to be crazy intense. We can do stuff at home with stuff we have there.”

Both Mock and Nedab say once they do re-open, it won’t be business as usual.

Both of these business owners say their communities have been able to come together during this time.

The owner of Southern Sugaring says she’s afraid if the businesses choosing to open on Friday don’t follow the governor’s restrictions or CDC guidelines she’ll be forced to close her doors again.

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