Stunning news out of Albany, Friday, as thousands more people learned that, in about 24 hours, they'll be without a paycheck, indefinitely. Even before Governor Andrew Cuomo on Friday announced a mandatory workforce reduction of 100%, in order to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, he announced the closure of hair and nail salons and tattoo and piercing parlors, beginning a time of uneasiness and uncertainty for thousands of business owners across the state, and locally.
"My first reaction was relief, because I knew it was coming," said Lisa Frateschi, owner of Cheveux Salon, in New Hartford. "And after that, it was just an influx of phone calls, texts, people wanting to come in before we close."
Like other business owners, their angst is highlighted by the fact that they have no vacation time, sick time or personal days.
"It's a tough thing because if we don't work, we don't get paid," said Frateschi. "We still have our health insurance to pay, our bills to pay .... it's hard."
For Connie Mandia, owner of Gianni Lauryn Hair Studio, in New Hartford, today's tough economic news was compounded by the fact that she couldn't accompany her adult son to St. Elizabeth Hospital, in Utica, where he was having surgery.
"They confirmed it and we showed up and I know they said no visitors but when I got there they said 'you have to drop him off' and we were both like, 'what'?"
While she completely understands the protocol, it's still difficult knowing that when her son comes out of surgery, she wont be there.
"You want somebody... I would want somebody with me if i was going in for surgery. I wouldn't want to walk in alone. Just to know somebody's in the waiting area or somebody's there," said Mandia.
Both Frateschi and Mandia say they've never seen anything like this...and they hope they never do again.
"Never. Never. I don't think any of us have. Never. This is bad," said Mandia.