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Inverness barber shop plans to reopen Friday despite being deemed a nonessential business

Updated: Apr. 16, 2020 at 6:17 AM CDT
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HOOVER, Ala. (WBRC) - One local business owner is pushing back against city and state restrictions against nonessential business.

Scott Farr, the owner of The Male Room in the Inverness Shopping Center, says he will welcome customers starting Friday who need haircuts. He says he understands the threat of the coronavirus but adds that the financial threat of keeping doors closed is more imminent.

On Friday, as the majority of businesses at the Inverness Plaza shopping center remain closed, The Male Room grooming salon will be open. The owners posted a lengthy message to customers on Facebook saying remaining closed is not longer an option.

An Announcement from The Male Room, a full-service barbershop With the unprecedented impact the COVID -19 virus has had...

Posted by THE MALE ROOM on Tuesday, April 14, 2020

“I was excited to re-open on the 17th," said Farr. "Now hearing rumblings to open in June or beyond made the decision to move forward with the reopening. Matter of time when not just me, millions that have been forced to close through no fault of their own and file bankruptcy.”

Owners say they’ve mapped out a plan to keep customers and employees safe, including distancing chairs, ordering face shields for workers and having customers check themselves out.

The decision has come with some push back on social media, with people saying the salon should stay closed because it’s impossible for customers and employees to maintain social distancing. However, the owners question how they are different from some of the essential businesses still open.

“You’re encountering people at the grocery store, gas station, liquor store, hardware store. What are we going to do, bubble wrap ourselves and wait in the basement until all this passes?" Farr said.

Nonessentials businesses that defy closing orders could be fined or lose their license, but it’s a risk The Male Room owners say they’re are willing to take.

“I would rather fight than sit down and go down voluntarily,” Farr said.

The owner says he has completed paperwork for small businesses to get money, but they haven’t received any money from that. We have reached out to law enforcement to get more information about how a situation like this would be handled - still waiting to hear back.

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