It was brought to my attention recently that an owner of a hair salon right down the street from my home had received a citation in the mail for performing services in her closed shop.

She is one of the hundreds of small business owners that are being so negatively affected by the current COVID-19 crisis that her business might not be able to re-open, ever.  She has had to continue to pay rent on a space that is not bringing in any money. So, in the meantime, she decided to cut, color, etc. several of her "friend/clients" occasionally, one at a time, while donning masks, close to desperate to do whatever it takes to feed her family.

"Friends/clients" pertains to the people that go to the same hair person for so long, they merge into a different category. They become friends, at least, while they are in the chair, sharing stories and life events like friends do.

So it was apparently during one of these occasions that she was utilizing her equipment in her closed shop. she was turned into, or observed by, either the Department of Licensing or the Department of Labor and Industries, which resulted in her receiving a fine for $7500! Talk about a swift kick to someone who's down! I would hope that when a court date comes to pass, I can't imagine a judge upholding this fine. It seems outrageous. Even if the lady gets the citation dismissed, imagine the extra stress about a pending court appearance before the date actually arrives. The anxiety can be palpable.

What I’d really like to know is whose job is it to patrol closed businesses in this capacity and who’s footing the bill? If this is being done by the Department of Licensing or Department of Labor and Industries, then it’s our tax dollars. Might a better idea be to use that money to set up a relief fund for our small business owners? I, for one, don’t want my tax money used to send out citations.

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