HONOLULU (KHON2) –Restaurants and retailers already struggling to stay afloat are faced with a second round of closures that will take effect on Aug. 27. Retail Merchants of Hawaii President Tina Yamaki said it’s a move that will devastate local business owners.
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Mayor Kirk Caldwell reinstated the “Stay-at-Home/Work-from-Home” order requiring all non-essential businesses to close for two weeks starting Thursday, August 27 at 12:01 A.M through September 9.
News of the upcoming shutdown traveled fast.
Hi Lites Salon Manager Deena Cates said she wasn’t at all surprised.
“We kind of felt like it was coming, we just didn’t know when.”
Cates said the staff had been saving their tips just in case–they learned their lesson after the shutdown in March. But she admitted that it will be tough on the salon.
“There’s no money coming in but the rent is still due, the electric still needs to be paid. So there’s that strong financial impact.”
Even though restaurants don’t have to close completely, many workers may be back on unemployment.
“We’ll continue to be open for take out and curbside and delivery through our delivery partners, but it definitely impacts my staff,” explained Dave & Busters General Manager Andrew Shimabukuro.
“Probably more than likely I’m going to have to cut back more of my staff again and some managers. So it does hurt.”
Chamber of Commerce Hawaii President Sherry Menor-McNamara said she’s disappointed businesses are being put through this again.
“They have invested so much ensuring that their work environment was prepared with all the heath and safety protocols, and prepared to open up commerce again and here we are again. Back to square one,” Menor-McNamara said.
Yamaki was equally frustrated.
“It’s kind of like we’re getting punished for other people not following the rules,” said Yamaki.
Menor-McNamara said more needs to be done to help.
“I do sincerely hope that the government will look at what kind of CARES funds are available immediately.”
Both Yamaki and Menor-McNamara said that if the order lasts longer than two weeks — as Caldwell said it may if COVID-19 cases don’t go down — many more restaurants and businesses may be closing their doors for good.
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