ATLANTA (WGCL ) — With safety precautions in place, several non-essential businesses across metro Atlanta have started to open up their doors.
For some business owners the decision to open up shop is a matter of risking the spread of the virus or losing their livelihood. That’s the reality one barbershop owner says he struggled with. So he made his decision to open up shop.
Diamond Cuts Barbershop and Hair Salon is now open for business more than a month after being closed due to Coronavirus restrictions. But from taking a look inside, it’s clear it’s not business as usual.
“Having a set number of people, practicing social distancing. At least try to have 6-feet between one another. We are also checking the temperature at the door, we have an infrared temperature gun clients can self check their temperature, we can check them as well,” said barber Yusseff. “We’re wiping the seats down in the common area down with viruscides between each client,” he added.
Yussef’s clientele includes stars like Chance the Rapper, Atlanta’s own Big Boi, singer Keith Sweat and many other celebrities. But he also relies on his everyday clientele to keep the shop profitable.
“So we are slowly trickling in customers. They’re excited that we’re open and we have to make sure that we take the proper risk management protocols to be able to deal and handle everyone,” he said.
Yussef never received small business stimulus package money. Reopening his barbershop was a hard decision.
“So business wise of course it’s a slow down, you know we had barbers staying home before the mandated quarantine.”
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp allowed for businesses to reopen amid the Covid-19 pandemic beginning April 24; though the move to open nonessential business is being criticized across the country.
Even Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms made it clear on social media that it may be best for citizens to remain indoors and to to ignore the governor’s call to return patronizing non-essential businesses.
“I already know he has a good hygiene regimen as far as sanitizing everything so I felt pretty comfortable coming to him to get a haircut,” said patron McKinley Washington.
But it’s not just Washington who feels comfortable getting a haircut. Youssef has been flooded with appointments.
“Yeah I’ve been booked up since this morning, taking them in one by one, one by one till 8 p.m. Last one is at 7:30 tonight.”
Not having a packed store gives customers like McKinley peace of mind
“I have a beautiful lady in New Jersey praying for me and that’s my mom so I love you mommy.”
Youseff says he will continue to serve his customers and keep a roof over his head, all while staying as safe as possible.