Celia Hipolito couldn’t believe her ears when she first heard about the state’s plans to shut down nonessential businesses at the start of the novel coronavirus [COVID-19] pandemic. What first started as a week or two of closed doors became ten weeks.
For a moment, Hipolito wondered if she should close the doors of Charlie’s Angels Unisex Salon for good. Then she was lucky enough to get a small business loan.
Still, it became harder and harder to pay the bills for her business. She is now three months behind on rent.
“I hope I am catching up soon,” said Hipolito
Like others across the region, Hipolito is very happy to be part of phase two of the Mid-Hudson Region’s reopening.
The Mid-Hudson Region officially started phase two of its reopening plans this past Tuesday.
Charlie’s Angels is located in New Windsor at 436 Blooming Grove Turnpike.
This past Monday, New Windsor had 854 confirmed cases of COVID-19. The City of Newburgh had 1,493 cases of COVID-19. The Town of Newburgh had 730 cases of COVID-19. In total, Orange County had 10,609 COVID-19 cases, and 467 deaths from the virus.
“It’s just, we’ve been waiting for so long,” said Hipolito. “So we’re very excited to go back to work.”
Hipolito said that her salon is implementing all of the CDC’s guidelines. They’re also adding extra precautions. She said there will be dividers between stations, the waiting area, the sink area, and the drying area. There will also be chairs set up in between stylists. There will be more than six feet between people.
Hipolito currently has four stylists at a time working. Each stylist will only have one client at a time. She said that if clients don’t have masks, she will be offering clients free face masks that she received from the county. She’s also selling handmade masks.
Although she is excited about the state’s reopening, she has concerns.
“People not following the recommendations, and then we have to shut down again,” said Hipolito. “That’s my fear.”
Sighing, Hipolito said she has mixed feelings about the state’s treatment of small businesses.
“I did get along so I’m happy for that,” said Hipolito. “I just hope that when I startup things go back a little bit normal. So we can pay that thing off quicker.”
Hipolito doesn’t know what the future looks like.
“I just have to go day by day,” said Hipolito. “I hope it gets back where we were or even better. People now realize, you know we are not essential, but we’re very needed.”
Hipolito started confirming appointments last Wednesday. She is booked for the next two weeks.
“I hope everything goes well. We love what we do,” said Hipolito. “We are back in business to do the best we can, to keep everybody safe: the employees, the clients, ourselves.”