Richland hair salon is one of many businesses being impacted by statewide closure

RICHLAND, Wash. – Today is the first day that Washington state businesses are shutting their doors since Gov. Inslee’s proclamation.

The owner of The Mint, a Richland hair salon, had to tell her employees that they couldn’t come to work for the next two weeks because of coronavirus concerns. The phone calls – something the owner has never had to do.

“It was really scary because I’m really worried about their livelihood and their future as well,” said Lyndsay Rodgers, the owner. “And being — having to tell someone that they can’t come in and do their job. I’ve never had to go through that before, and that’s scaring myself.”

Rodgers walked into her salon today and was hit with the silence of the room. Normally, it’s clients and stylists chatting with each other.

She said that her business is going to lose thousands of dollars during the closure.

During this time, she’s going to be working on her website and building more relationships with other small businesses.

“I just want to say that I’ve been so fortunate to have people reaching out to me, asking how they can help and what they can do and really lean on your neighbors,” Rodgers said. “We’re here for you. We’re happy to help. We’re happy to do everything that we can in this situation. We’re happy to have phone calls and think of ideas they of things to do.”

Rodgers is also trying to find the silver lining in the situation. She said the landlord of the plaza she’s in has told all the tenants, including Rodgers, that they’re taking 50% off their rent in April and then possibly the coming months, depending on what happens.

The salon is hoping to get its customers back in as soon as possible within the state’s guidelines.