Hello, my name is Giuseppe Acampora, my family and I own C & C Unisex in the Crystal Run Mall and the Poughkeepsie Galleria. We are a local, family-owned hair salon that employs more than 100 people across Orange, Ulster and Dutchess counties.
I would like to discuss my extreme frustration and disappointment with the Governor’s last-minute decision to exclude enclosed malls from the Phase 2 portion of reopening.
We opened our doors for the first time back in 1992. Since then we have invested countless money and hours into developing our business to survive the hands of time. However, now more than ever we are in danger of losing all that we have worked so hard for.
For three months we have stayed closed, acknowledging that we are a non-essential business. During which time, our bills have not stopped, our rent is still due, our utilities continue to collect and our employees continue to stay unemployed. Despite all this we stayed resilient and followed all the guidelines put forth from the state.
It was exciting to learn that as a hair salon we could reopen as a part of phase 2. In preparation we incurred additional costs in buying proper PPE for all our staff, we made physical changes to our salon to ensure the safety of our clients and staff, we personally went in over a period of two days and sanitized the entirety of the shop. I am happy to say that we are prepared to follow all the safety guidelines and have made our own precautions to ensure the safety of all our customers and employees.
However, now we are told that because of our location inside the mall we will not be allowed to reopen, but our outside competitors can.
It should be said that the malls have more free space in their common area then most grocery stores. Yet, they can open. It is unfair to be selective. The mall has a small army of personnel to thoroughly clean and sanitize all mall entrances and have set up information all over the mall to encourage good hygiene and safety tips. We are ready to reopen more then most outside strip malls and department stores. It is frustrating to know that there are no channels in where we can communicate our concerns or to discuss possible avenues of workaround (cutting outside, etc.).
I know I speak for many small businesses located in the malls to say that it is unfair that solely due to our location that we are unable to reopen in Phase 2. We are ready and have taken all the proper precautions, and I can personally attest to the Crystal Run and the Poughkeepsie Galleria’s readiness to meet all the safety guidelines for a Phase 2 reopening. We should not be treated differently.
Ultimately, we just want the equal opportunity to do business. We want to stay afloat. We want our employees to come back to work and not have to change their lives. We want some flexibility and the consideration of the sacrifices we have made out of love and concern for the well beings of others.