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Arizona businesses say they will re-open Friday regardless of Governor Ducey's decision

Posted at 10:50 PM, Apr 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-29 17:46:47-04

Arizona's stay-at-home order is set to expire Thursday night and Governor Ducey is expected to announce his decision on future closures or changes at a Wednesday news conference.

Some Valley businesses though, are not waiting around for the governor's announcement and say regardless of what he says, they will reopen their doors Friday morning.

"All of us self-employed, we also have to take care of our families. Our bills haven't stopped. Food still has to go in our children's mouths," said Wendy Acuna, who owns The Beauty Mark in Surprise.

Acuna says for the past few weeks, her salon has been completely shuttered, but she has not received any of the government assistance set aside for small businesses.

"We're not getting anything. A lot of us have not been successful," said Acuna, who is also a mother of six.

"If I don't reopen my business, I will lose everything I've worked so hard for," said Arlica Hernandez, owner of Beauty Bar in Peoria.

Hernandez is planning to open Friday morning and says her customers are already eager to return to her shop. She already has Clorox wipes and extra masks waiting for them.

"I am a cosmetologist and I know sanitation and infection control," said Hernandez.

"I want to work, my clients want to pay me for work, and I want to get back to normality," said Sarah Packard who does eyelashes in Mesa.

Packard is far from alone in her desire to shift the Arizona economy from neutral back to drive.

A Facebook group called 'Great 48' has more than 20,000 members. Organizers of the group are encouraging all businesses to reopen Friday. They also have weekend events planned.

"Saturday is taking back communities and parks - going out and living life. And Sunday is the big 'rev it up' event where everyone from all corners of Arizona are going to come upon the capital to march in a peaceful movement," said Ryan Ryker Martin, one of the group's leaders.

Some members are even organizing a community pool party Friday.

Doctors say large gatherings, like protests at the capitol, are foolish and only increase the risk of the deadly virus spreading.

"When your doctor prescribes you an antibiotic, your doctor tells you to finish the antibiotic. You don't stop taking it when you feel better. We need to make sure we are safe," said Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego, who has been vocal in her opposition to rash, quick reopening.

Small business owners tell me their work is as safe and essential as many others.

"Look at the lines that are outside. Go to Home Depot. There are people out. There are people not wearing masks," said Acuna.

"If you're scared, stay home," said Hernandez.

The Governor's Office sent ABC15 a statement in response to this story Tuesday night: "Arizonans have acted responsibly. Because of this, our state is prepared and we have slowed the spread of COVID-19. The governor will provide an update tomorrow. We expect Arizonans to continue acting responsibly."