Businesses slowly returning to normal as COVID-19 restrictions lift

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — COVID-19 restrictions are lifting across many industries, allowing hair salons, movie theatres and small business everywhere to slowing reopen across our area. Governor Cuomo believes New York State is winning the war against COVID-19 and said it is time to reopen and ease back restrictions so our economy can heal. 

“The more people, the more income, the better business will be. We’ve been waiting for this for a year, so we’re thankful,” Joseph Cocozza, Joe’s Upscale barber shop in Webster, said.

Cocozza who owns Joe’s Upscale barber shop in Webster says the capacity increase for salon, barbershops and personal care services will allow more people to come into his business at a time.

“It’s going to bring back our atmosphere which is the best part of the shop,” Cocozza said.

And it will also bring back more stylists. Over at Joelle’s Hair Design in Rush, Joelle Lane has been the only stylist in the shop for a year and she hopes to bring on two more.

“They’ve had to work less hours so yes it’s less income for them. But now they can increase their hours a little bit and their productivity during the day with an extra client, let’s say while they have a color on they can do a haircut,” Lane said.

Restrictions are lifting across all industries. Starting May 7, capacity restrictions will be expanded to 75 percent for hair salons, barbershops, and other personal care services.

This comes on the heels of changes for bars and restaurants, as the 12 a.m. curfew will be lifted for outdoor dining areas on May 17, and indoor establishments beginning May 31. People are no longer required to purchase food with alcohol services after lawmakers ended the rule earlier this week. 

And beginning April 5, gyms, movie theaters, bowling alleys, casinos, and billiards halls will be able to stay open past 11 p.m.

Cuomo said in a statement the changes will put money in the pockets of small business owners and working people, helping them to come back stronger than ever.

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