A new normal in Augusta as businesses begin to shut down over coronavirus

Sunday, March 22, 2020

AUGUSTA, GA. (WRDW/WAGT) -- It's the first day of a new normal for businesses across Augusta as non-essential businesses like restaurants, bars, gyms, and salons are shut down.

Meanwhile, just a few miles away, stores in Columbia County are open for businesses.

Some salons look empty, but they are actually open.

Columbia County Chairman Doug Duncan says they are allowing business owners to determine whether or not they close their doors, and Whalina Hulse says her shop will remain open with caution.

"We clean, disinfect, and sometimes if the other client comes earlier we will have them wait in their car," said Hulse.

Businesses in Richmond County no longer have that option available.

Bridgit Dresser is the owner of His and Hers Salon. She says the mayor's executive order for closures is tough for her employees, as well as stylists who rent out her booths.

She says it's even tougher knowing salons about 10 minutes away in the neighboring county are able to stay open.

"When they rent their booth they are independent, they are their own little small business, and with the impact of this they have no income," said Dresser.

She says they still have to pay their bills for their yearly lease, but they have no income coming in.

"I also am a hairdresser here that works full time, and I understand what they are going through," said Dresser.

While the closure isn't easy, she says she's happy the mayor is taking steps for safety.

She says during this time to plans to help her employees as much as she can.

"Personally I'm going to help and assist in any way I can with these girls," said Dresser.

Moving ahead, she hopes all business come together as one during this tough time.

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