Business owners discuss being excluded from Louisiana’s Phase 1 reopening

RUSTON, La. (KNOE) - While restaurants, gyms, places of worship and other establishments got the green light for Phase 1 of the state reopening plan, other businesses didn’t make the cut.

(Source: KNOE)

“We were almost so close,” Forever Young Esthetics owner Angie McDonald says.

Spas, tattoo shops, adult entertainment venues, amusement parks and others are on the list of places that cannot reopen during Phase 1.

McDonald's been in business for almost seven years now providing services such as body waxing, facials and even cosmetic tattoos. According to Governor John Bel Edward’s Proclamation No. 58, these are all esthetics services that cannot be done during Phase 1.

McDonald says she and her other colleagues in the business have been practicing extensive hygienic codes long before the pandemic.

“We already disinfect. We change the sheets in between clients. For my tattooing, we have single-use one-time sterilization we have to put all that stuff in a separate trash can,” McDonald says.

She says she feels like they deserve a chance to get back to business safely.

She’s not the only one who feels that way. Judi Null is the principal and gallery director at Ruston Artisans art gallery. They’re able to open up with a max of ten people, but Nulls says they’re slighted for services.

“It puts a limitation then in terms of doing a reception or to have an art class or things like that,” Null says.

Phase 1 is scheduled to end on June 5; however, health officials and the governor’s office will be monitoring cases throughout the state in the coming weeks.

While they wait for the go-ahead from officials, McDonald says she’s pleading for them to give small business owners a chance to reopen safely.

“I’m a small business, and I don’t have any other way of providing for my family and there’s a lot of us out there,” McDonald says.