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Corona hair salon opens, defying coronavirus shutdown

Lather Studio owner Kira Boranian
Lather Studio owner Kira Boranian stands at the reception desk of her Corona salon Monday April 27, 2020. Boranian says she didn’t make her decision lightly to reopen but says she believes it is her constitutional right to operate, despite a local order barring hair cutting businesses to operate during the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

A hair salon in Corona, California is reopening despite Riverside County stay-at-home orders amid coronavirus, noting that stylists don’t qualify for federal business loans.

Lather Studio in Corona has reopened its doors after being shut down for nearly six weeks.

The hair salon is defying state and Riverside County Public Health stay-at-home orders due to the COVID-19 crisis.

“All of us depend on working for our livelihoods but unfortunately we have not been able to,” said salon owner Kira Boranian.

On Sunday, Boranian posted to the Lather Studio’s Facebook page explaining to her clients and community that with no end date to the shutdown for non-essential businesses, she made the decision to reopen.

“Unfortunately, independent contractors do not receive a paycheck so a lot of the SBA loans that have been out there don’t protect us in this industry,” she said on the social media post.

It’s a decision she knows could come with some stiff fines.

“There’s no law that I am breaking technically and if that does happen and I do get some visits and if I get a citation or a fine I will deal with that,” said Boranian.

Lather Studio has 22 stylists that rent space, but only five of the stylists returned to working on Monday. Boranian said she respected both her stylists’ and clients’ decisions to stay home.

“If I am taking certain precautions and being respectful of the fact COVID-19 is out there, I don’t feel there should be a reason why it should be a big issue,” she said.

As for those precautions, stylist will be wearing masks, hand sanitizer will be provided upon entering the salon, and chairs and bowls will be wiped down and sprayed with Lysol after each customer.

For now, there will be no walk-ins. Instead customers must call to schedule an appointment.

“Anything that comes in contact with any individual we are making sure that it is sanitized after. We want to make sure our clients feel very safe,” said Boranian.

Eyewitness News reached out to the Corona Police Department. A spokesperson said they were aware of the business reopening and would visit the salon to ask Boranian to comply voluntarily with the shutdown orders. Riverside County also said if Boranian refused they could seek court action.

This news was first published by abc7.com

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