Pennsylvania hair, nail salons struggle with no reopening date in sight

WYNNEWOOD, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Shut down since mid-March, hair and nail salon owners throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania have a lot of empty chairs, no appointments but a growing stack of bills.

"Theres a lot of stress," said Wynnewood Salon Papillon Owner Jian "Jim" Zheng. "The bills that keep coming in, they don't cut any bills."

As part of Governor Tom Wolf's re-opening plan, hair and nail salons aren't allowed to open under the yellow phase, but there's no date scheduled for the southeastern region to turn green.

"I think everybody should open," said Nichole Missino, owner of Giovanni's Barber Shop in Media. "This has gone on long enough. We're into day 95 at this point and that's ridiculous. To keep our entire state closed for 95 days, that's nuts."

Adding to that confusion is HR 836, a resolution passed by a majority of state lawmakers Tuesday night. It would end Wolf's emergency proclamation and reopen businesses immediately.

"If the governor chooses to openly violate the plain reading of the law, we will examine all legal actions available to us to act in the best interest of the residents of the commonwealth," House Majority Leader Bryan Cutler, R-Lancaster, said in a news release Wednesday.

The governor, however, said the resolution would not open businesses and could put emergency funding at risk.

"Now business is looking and saying, 'which one do i follow?' and you've got people literally struggling to survive in their business," said Gene Barr, President of Pennsylvania Chamber and Industry. "It is a very difficult time for all businesses."

Missino said defying orders was worth it, with the phones are ringing off the hook. She said the only ramifications were threatening letters from the state.

"(My employees) are able to pay their bills and theyre able to keep the roofs over their heads and their able to feed their families," said Missino.

In an effort to help struggling small businesses, Senator Anthony Williams (D) District 8, sent Action News this statement:

"My Senate Democratic colleagues and I secured $225 million to support small businesses and $100 million will go directly to those that have been historically disadvantaged," said Senator Anthony Williams (D), District 8. "An additional $25 million will help the 52nd Street Corridor rebuild following recent vandalism and looting. Our neighborhood business corridors are the backbone of our economy and reflect the strength and character of our local communities. I will continue to fight for them."
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