Business

2,300 sign petition to open Marion County hair salons

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A petition asking Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett to open Indianapolis salons has gotten more than 2,000 signatures in just over 48 hours.

The action comes after Hogsett announced that he would consider salons opening on June 1.The owner of DeWeese Designs Salon on the west side of Indianapolis started the petition after she defied the mayor’s orders and opened her salon last week. She says that the mayor’s decision to keep salon’s closed until June 1 is not only hurting business but also causing customers to travel even farther to get services done.

Stevens says she is losing clients and tens of thousands of dollars in profit for every week her salon isn’t open now while surrounding counties’ salons are open.

“The business we lose, we may never see again,” Stevens said.

Now not only are customers crossing county lines to get into salons, so are stylists.

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“To me, the mayor is sending the message that he wants our clients to go elsewhere, one. And not only that, everyone is hiring all of the sudden for stylists,” Stevens said.

Kimberly Morse owns Kim Artistry Hair Studio in Carmel. She says she has received calls from stylists in Indianapolis looking for booth space.

“For me personally, I would say that I probably have had seven or eight people reach out to me,” Morse said.

Salon owners say they believe the mayor’s decision to keep business is Marion County closed won’t stop people from getting those services done.

“At some point they can only be so loyal to us,” Stevens said.

“If the reason is we want to flatten the curve, well, you are going to send the curve to another county is what is going to happen,” Morse said.

Stevens opened her salon despite mayor’s orders. She says an officer came Friday and told her she had to close her doors and that she would be fined. Over the weekend she decided to create the petition that now has more than 2,300 signatures.

“We just feel like we are being treated so unfairly that we are just trying to make sense of all of this,” Stevens said.

News 8 reached out to the mayor’s office asking for a comment on his reasoning behind the decision. His office responded with a statement: “We continue to work closely with the Marion County Public Health Department to prioritize the safety of Indianapolis residents. This means encouraging the use of face coverings and other industry standard PPE (personal protective equipment), promoting social distancing, and taking a data driven approach to reopening businesses under the guidance of our city’s public health professionals. Personal services often require prolonged, close one-on-one contact which can put both service providers and residents at risk.”

Stevens said, “I have shed so many tears over all of this I feel so defeated.”

Salon workers say if they can’t get across to the mayor through this petition and letters they plan to send to him directly, their next steps will be taking their concerns to the Statehouse.

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