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Coronavirus concerns: Largo hairstylist forced to choose between health or income

Coronavirus

LARGO, Fla. (WFLA) – Amidst growing coronavirus concerns, a hairstylist and business owner in Pinellas County contacted 8 On Your Side concerned for her personal health and the financial health of her business.

Dena Leocata owns her own hair business, Salon Ciao Bella, inside Largo Mall. Leocata rents space for her salon and said if the state or local government does not close salons, she has to continue working and paying rent.

Blonde or brunette, short or long hair, COVID-19 doesn’t care.

“When they’re in the shampoo bowl, I’m face to face, a few inches away. If I were to sneeze or they were to sneeze it would be…catastrophe,” said Leocata.

She’s loved owning her business for two and a half years.

“Well I love that it’s me, one-on-one with my customer,” said Leocata.

But amidst this pandemic, it’s also one of the downfalls. She says everyone in the service industry has no way of practicing social distancing.

“The small guys. The hard-working person who is not raking in the money but we’re working hard. It feels like we’re the last in line,” she said.

Leocata went on to say she temporarily closed her business because she felt it was the only responsible thing to do.

“You have that incubation period where you don’t know if you’re sick. You could be transmitting. Someone could be transmitting it to me,” she explained.

Now Leocata said she is hoping for a mandated closure soon to help her and all service workers.

“Until they mandate us to close, I have to continue paying that rent and I won’t survive financially,” she said.

Leocata shared with 8 On Your Side that she can only survive three weeks temporarily closing her business without making business until she has to shut down permanently. She said she and many other salon owners will be anxiously awaiting news from the governor.

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