A barbershop in Ontario has found a clever loophole in order to stay open and operate legally. Chrome Artistic Barber is playing chess while other businesses are playing checkers by turning itself into a production and film studio. Under Ontario's provincial lockdown laws, which came into effect on Dec. 26, film and television productions are allowed to continue operating.
Ahh, the ol' ~Hollywood is allowed to do whatever it wants shtick while small businesses suffer. 👀
Alicia Hirter, the owner of the salon, decided she would no longer be offering haircut appointments...instead she would offer auditions for a role in an upcoming production. Hirter set up cameras, lights, and microphones in her shop and said the people coming in for haircuts are now auditioning for a part in a future TV show or podcast.
According to their website, clients can book adult auditions or child auditions.
Hirter told CTV News Toronto that when guests arrive for their appointment, they must sign a talent release form and undergo a COVID-19 screening test. Guests are also required to wash their hands when arriving.
Hirter has operated her business for 18 years and said that she cannot survive another extended closure. She is also furious that big box retailers can stay open while her business has to remain closed, saying:
"I'm a single mom, I'm not about to move into low income property with my son… as a business owner and a mother, I had to make my own call, I'm not a criminal. You're telling me Walmart can sell bananas that 17 people have touched but I'm not allowed to operate? It's morally wrong. You can't expect us to shut down."
According to the article, Tami Kitay, the Director of Planning and Building, has said that an investigation has been launched into Chrome Artistic Barber shop, saying:
"We appreciate that these are challenging times; however, businesses that do not comply with the Provincial Orders and Regulations will be investigated and can anticipate consequences."
Hirter said that, while her business has not been shut down, city officials have told her she could soon face charges.
"I will continue to operate," she said. "I will take the fines."