A number of restaurants and businesses deemed by officials to be “nonessential” are openly defying lockdown measures in states across the nation as they grapple with their livelihoods being stripped away and their finances going down the drain.
While some states are slowly reopening, the rest continue under tight restrictions. Authorities have fined, arrested, or revoked the business licenses of those defying the orders. Some have decried these actions as unconstitutional, even sliding toward tyrannical, while others say it’s warranted.
Business owners who resisted the unprecedented lockdown rules told The Epoch Times they had no other choice as the economic fallout forced them to use their retirement money.
They grappled with a “new normal” of falling behind on rent, wrestling with the idea of letting employees go, or letting their relatives and those in their community down. Supporters and other businesses that were able to survive without breaking the orders were sympathetic, saying they could understand the pressure they were facing.
Governors have enacted stay-at-home measures and ordered schools and most businesses—aside from those deemed essential—to close in a bid to counter the spread of the CCP virus, also known as the novel coronavirus. Those defying these measures mostly agree the restrictions are effective, but say their lives can’t continue unless they start making money.
In recent weeks, businesses across the country have reopened in defiance of their states’ lockdown orders. In North Carolina, a man who opened his tattoo parlor over concerns he would lose his new home was arrested for violating an executive order. A barber in Nevada received a warning from her licensing board, including a citation and a $1,000 fine for reopening.
A salon owner in Dallas who reopened early was sentenced to a week in jail and ordered to pay $500 for each of the seven days her business was open. Similar cases have also occurred in Florida, Oregon, Colorado, New York, California, and Maine.
However, restaurants that allowed patrons to dine inside their premises and owners of nonessential businesses who reopened their stores have seen a massive outpouring of support from their local communities. On GoFundMe, more than $185,541 was raised for the jailed salon owner.
When talking about the positive feedback they received, some of them became emotional.