INDIANAPOLIS — An Indianapolis barbershop owner is planning to reopen his business in spite of restrictions from city leaders that require him to keep his business closed for now because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Jason Hicks is the owner of Downtown’s Barbershop along Emerson Avenue just south of Beech Grove on the south side. He told 93 WIBC’s Hammer and Nigel he doesn’t believe it’s fair other businesses are allowed to reopen.
“Bills don’t stop,” Hicks said. “We have a lease to pay for our business and we have bills to pay at home and people have to eat.”
In a virtual press conference this week, Mayor Joe Hogsett set announced that the city would be allowing many businesses to partially reopen from a coronavirus lockdown starting today, May 15th. He said non-essential retail businesses can reopen at 50-percent capacity and churches can old services with gatherings of 25 or less.
Barbershops, hairstylists, tattoo parlors, and nail salons must remain closed at least until June 1st.
Hicks said when he reopens his barbershop on Monday, May 18th, they plan to follow all guidelines as laid out by Governor Eric Holcomb and State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box when it comes to keeping both workers and customers safe.
“We’re going to follow the guidelines they put in place. We already follow this, to begin with,” he said. “The first thing you start in when you go to school, whether is be barber school, cosmetology school, nail school, is you learn sanitation. You learn about communicable diseases that can be spread through your tools and things like that.”
Hicks is also not afraid to face the music should the city come knocking on his door after he reopens.
“I’ve thought a lot about the ramifications once this happens,” said Hicks. “I mean if you want to go ahead and violate my constitutional rights, you’re more than welcome to try that.”
When asked if he’s afraid of getting arrested for not complying with the city’s restrictions, Hick said he has had his bouts with that in past and that he is reopening to protect what he and his employees have. He said he’s not afraid to spend a day or two in jail in order to protect his business.