(WIVB) – Gyms, salons, barbershops and personal care services in the Orange District of Erie County are closed for the foreseeable future.
But in Niagara County, it is open for business because this area is not in the orange district.
People in Erie County now choose to travel north to access these services.
Some of the companies we spoke with say they are already seeing the impact of the Erie County lockdown. The owners of Hair Synergy’s studio in Lockport get calls to book appointments throughout the week.
Phone calls have picked up hugely for sure. We’re overwhelmed by phone calls from customers in Erie County and we’re grateful for that, we really are.
Joseph Lagrica, Synergy Hair Studio
Owner Joseph Lagreka says he’s making sure to take extra precautions during this rise in business because he doesn’t want Niagara County to fall victim to the state’s small group closures.
“Seeing us part of this early lockdown definitely surprised us. Fortunately here in Niagara we’re still open, and I’m very grateful for that. But our friends, brothers and sisters in Erie are not,” Lagrica continues.
Local leaders say that while this is great for local businesses being hurt by the pandemic, they are also concerned that people traveling back and forth between provinces might increase the infection rate.
It’s a difficult balance. We have seen our business struggle and we know we don’t want to go to the next area, we don’t want to close our business again and we don’t want to undo this step. But the ultimate goal is a public health cause that is involved in keeping our society safe and stopping the spread of the virus.
Becky Widdish, Niagara County Legislature
Erie County Executive Director Mark Bolloncars said, “Restrictions are in place to save lives. Nobody wants to shut down the economy. Nobody is interested in doing that. We want to save lives.”