Non-essential businesses brace for two week shutdown

Non-essential businesses brace for two week shutdown

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Across South Carolina, businesses considered non-essential are closing their doors, per Governor Henry McMaster's new executive order.

The deadline for those businesses to shut down was 5 p.m. Wednesday.

"I knew he was going to shut us down but I didn't know when," said Missy Clementi, the owner of Blown Away Salon in Blythewood.

Many businesses were already struggling due to pandemic, but now slow business will become no business, as they must close for the next 2 weeks.

"Now that he issued the shutdown, it's going to be tough for a while," said Jon Landon, the president of Carolina Fine Jewelry in Columbia.

With so many people out of work, shoppers just don't have the money to spend.

"We sell wants, we don't sell needs. In this time period people are going to need things and don't have the extra money to buy things," added Landon. "So jewelry is tough, and it's gonna be tough until people can get back on their feet.

Businesses that are considered non-essential include entertainment operations like bowling alleys or night clubs. Athletic facilities, like gyms, as well as, close contact service providers like hair and nail salons.

For small businesses that fall under those categories, like Blown Away Salon, the owners are simply trying to make a living while they still can. Helping out their customers until the last moment possible.

"I thought yesterday was gonna be it, so I started calling clients and canceling," added Clementi. "Well then I found out we could be open until five and I thought that's great let me call and get them back in, so we do have people coming in today and we will be here until five."

However, despite the loss of business, local owners say if this is what It takes to save lives they will do what's needed.

"If it takes two weeks, it takes two weeks. I just pray it doesn't go longer," said Clementi.

But the owners hope when they are able to open back up, that the community will be there to support them.

"When this is over please everyone support small business," said Mark Meetze, Vice President of Carolina Fine Jewelry.

If you are not sure if your business falls into the non-essential category contact the South Carolina Dept. of Commerce.

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