Businesses not considered ‘essential’ close their doors and face an uncertain future

Published: Mar. 23, 2020 at 7:51 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - As the city’s stay-at-home order goes into effect, many Oahu businesses had no choice Monday afternoon but to shut their doors for the foreseeable future.

The fashion industry ― including hair salons, eyelash studios, and other spa services ― weren’t considered “essential” services under the order.

Businesses deemed ‘non-essential’ are to remain closed until April 30 amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Dustin Carvalho has owned Texture Salon in Kalihi for two years.

He closed up shop earlier Monday.

“It kind of set in,” said Carvalho. “I was worried but it wasn’t really for me, it was for everyone else including my team. What are they going to do?”

While some owners closed up shop, others opted to stay open for now.

Island Olive Oil in Kailua is considered a “grocer” due to the other food and produce they provide to customers. Co-owner Angel Foster says the ordinance has confusing details.

“The mayor’s ordinance for us is a little bit confusing," said Foster.

“Some of the landlords are doing mass closures, an were technically deemed essential as a grocer, however as a retailer were being asked to shut down.”

Tina Yamaki, of Retail Merchants of Hawaii, says businesses that aren’t shutting down are being cleaned and sanitized regularly.

“It’s for the safety of the customers," said Yamaki. “We don’t want be the ones spreading the virus, so those stores that do remain open, we are seeing them being cleaned more often.”

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