NEW HARTFORD, N.Y. – Several Oneida County businesses moved forward with reopening Friday morning, after many received conflicting guidance from local and state officials on Thursday.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo officially gave the OK to move forward during his press conference around 1 p.m. Friday.
Many business owners have prepared for weeks -- implementing social distancing guidelines and procuring personal protective equipment – in preparation for Phase 2 starting on May 29.
It was unclear Thursday night if the state had given the green light for moving forward with Phase 2, but Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente said he wouldn’t stop businesses from reopening as planned.
Big Apple Music in New Hartford opened Friday morning, and owner Peter Bolos says it was “do or die” for the business.
“We are open irregardless. We have to be open. It's a do or die situation. We are a small business and I'm not about to let 40 years of hard work go down the drain,” he said.
Paulie Diamond, owner of the Gentleman’s Corner Barbershop, shared Bolos’ sentiment.
“We’re following Picente. If he says we’re going to open, we’re going to open. Feels great that he has our back,” he said.
The barbershop had a line of customers outside early Friday morning, wearing masks and social distancing, which Diamond says is part of the new protocol.
“No one is allowed to wait in the shop…you sign in, you leave, you go to your car and we call you when we have a chair open,” he said.
Diamond added that there all of the barbers have hand sanitizer at their stations, and wipe everything down before and after each customer.