Some businesses in Colleyville are preparing to reopen Friday under newly amended city orders announced this week, while some say they will have to remain closed.
The amended disaster declaration, signed by Colleyville Mayor Richard Newton, says people can dine in the outdoor patio portions of restaurants starting Friday if the tables are spaced apart. It is also allowing one-on-one visits to gyms and personal trainers through appointment only and with the use of PPE. Fitness instruction, specifically, allows one-on-one interaction or in limited classes with no more than 10 students subject to social distancing requirements.
Heather Andersen, owner of Get Fit Training Studio, said this is similar to how they operated prior to the coronavirus pandemic. The studio, located along Colleyville Boulevard, is by appointment only.
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“This is not a great big facility that has 300 members in here all at one time. Literally, there could be me and one other person. Myself, one other trainer, two other people. That’s it,” explained Andersen.
For about a month now, Andersen has been training clients through Zoom.
“It’s quite the adjustment. We’re very old school, very hands-on,” she said. “Most people didn’t have equipment at home. Most people don’t have the tools necessary so we could jot stuff out, but doing bodyweight – you don’t want to jump and down 20 times. You don’t want to do burpees. This is huge for us to get people back, and everybody’s been cooped up.”
Under the city’s new orders, salons and massage therapy studios are allowed to do one-on-one appointments starting Friday, as well. However, businesses of those types NBC 5 spoke with Thursday said they are remaining closed.
Unlike restaurants and gyms, places like Platinum Loft Salon in Colleyville owned by Sydney Fibranz are overseen by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation. According to TDLR spokesperson Tela Mange, the agency oversees 39 different programs ranging from cosmetology to speech-language pathology.
“Salons, barbershops and massage therapy establishments could risk fines of up to $1,000 per incident for providing services while the Governor's Executive Order is still in effect. Depending on their history, there could be additional issues,” an email to NBC 5 states.
Fibranz said while news of reopening was welcome, fine risks are something they cannot take given everything they’ve already lost.
“All of the stylists here work full time. We are at a complete loss of income. I mean, we kind of feel helpless. I know me and all of the other stylists have applied for government assistance. We either got rejected or haven’t received anything yet, so it’s been really hard,” she explained. “We appreciate what Mayor Newton did. We were super excited and we love that he’s trying to get us reopened, get us our income back, and get us moving forward. At the end of the day with our licensing and regulations saying don’t do it, it’s not worth the risk.”
NBC 5 asked Mayor Newton whether his office was aware of risk of fines and what he recommended for owners of salons and studios now facing this conflict.
“The role of government is to provide guidance for businesses. The adopted proclamation is intended to do just that from the City of Colleyville’s perspective. Operational decisions related to licensing authorities must remain with the business owner/license holder,” Newton said.
For now, Fibranz said their doors will remain closed as they wait for the next steps.
“We’re a family here, so it’s been really hard not getting to see each other and we all have a great relationship with our clients and we just miss everyone,” Fibranz said.
Mange said TDLR will provide guidance for shop and salon owners for reopening once Governor Greg Abbott has announced a startup date.
“We want to make sure that owners, employees and clients are safe. We appreciate everyone who has refrained from providing services,” Mange said in an email.
For more on Colleyville’s guidelines, click here.