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'I have bills to pay:' Palatka salon reopens despite governor's order to stay closed

“I decided to open now because my savings only lasted me so long."

JACKSONVILLE, Fla — Krys Nelson is back in business, but by order of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, hair salons are supposed to be closed.

Nelson says her finances are forcing her to return to work.  

“I decided to open now because my savings only lasted me so long,” she told First Coast News.

Nelson applied for unemployment benefits but says the state told her she was ineligible. She hasn’t been able to get in touch with anyone from the Small Business Administration and she was denied a loan through the Paycheck Protection Program.

“I have a mortgage company that is not deferring any of my mortgage payments. I have to pay my internet bills because my kids are now in school at home. I have bills to pay,” Nelson said.

She has five children at home and says she has to make ends meet. So, she opened Thursday with precautions, including having one client inside at a time and issuing hand sanitizer.

Credit: Courtesy: Krys Nelson
Krys Nelson, owner of Shear Transformations in Palatka, reopened Thursday citing financial reasons for her family.

“I even have masks for my clients as well if they don’t have one, if they feel more comfortable to wear one,” she explained.

She’s been contacted by the state agency that issues her cosmetology license, telling Nelson she needs to close because she’s going against an executive order. But, Nelson says her family comes first.

“Of course I am afraid," she said. "But, I am a small business owner in a small town that’s just trying to provide for my family. The government has given me nothing, or limited me, what else am I supposed to do?”