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Hair stylists, barbers, calling for reopening of shops in Marion County

Posted at 11:38 PM, May 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-21 00:32:47-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Some hair stylists and barbers are calling for leaders in Marion County to reopen barbershops and hair salons to help people back to work.

Salons and barbershops in Marion County have been closed since March and June 1 is the earliest they will be able to open, under Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett's order.

Many business owners, stylists, and barbers, aren't happy and protested the restrictions, saying it discriminates their industry and craft.

"These salons need to be open," salon owner Rita Stevens said. "These barbershops deserve to be open."

She owns a salon inside the Marion-Hendricks County line.

Because salons and barbershops in surrounding counties were able to reopen, Stevens says those in Marion County are losing money.

Stevens organized a protest Wednesday in Downtown Indianapolis to try to get city and county leaders to understand barbershops and salons are safe.

"I love my mayor, I love my governor," Stevens said. "I don't want it to be about politics, that is not why we are here. We are here to make them understand I have 14 stylists that went to school and they have learned so much about sanitizing. More than any retail center, more than any hardware store. They didn't take classes on sanitation and they've been open since day one."

She wants an emergency reopening of her industry to provide an income to employees, who are considered self-employed or gig workers.

Bryan Lomax, a barber, says they are still waiting for help through unemployment benefits.

"We just want to return to work, earn our money and do what we love to do," Lomax said.

More tonight on @WRTV at 11.

— Cameron Ridle (@CameronRidle) May 20, 2020