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Staff photo by Troy Stolt / Nail technician and permanent makeup specialist Nikki Stevens cleans up after getting done with a client at Southside Salon and Spa on Tuesday, March 24, 2020 in Chattanooga, Tenn. Like other barbershops and salons around Chattanooga, Southside Salon and Spa will have to close its doors tomorrow to adhere with Mayor Berke's Executive Order 2020-04, which orders businesses that cannot properly implement social distancing practices to shut down until April 16 at the earliest in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Thanks to coronavirus, tasks that used to seem ordinary are now banned.

Getting a haircut, for example.

Barber shops, hair salons and beauty shops in Chattanooga have to close temporarily as of Wednesday at 12 a.m., according to an executive order by Mayor Andy Berke on Monday. Berke's order mandated that all "non-essential" businesses in the city temporarily close to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Southside Salon & Spa on Market Street was booked all day Tuesday and today as customers took advantage of the service while they still can. Store owner Jennifer Odister cleaned with Lysol between clients and had masks and gloves on hand for customers if needed.

"We are trying to take care of our customers while we can and then we will sit back like everyone else and watch for when we can open back up," said Odister, who has four other employees. "I am not real sure what we are going to do. My girls who work here are W-2 and don't work for themselves, so they can hopefully file unemployment. We are going to wait this out. It's crazy times."

Several local hairstylists told the Times Free Press that they would be open to doing house calls for their clients if possible and would still cut hair for close friends, in both cases making sure their patrons were not showing any symptoms of the coronavirus.

Great Clips stores have already been closed and the company does not know when it will be able to open shop again.

Local hairdresser Darlene Stanton said she would handle the tough times by not living in fear, but by living life despite the uncertainty happening in the world.

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Hair today, none tomorrow

Barber shops, salons and beauty shops around town have been an important thread in the community. And Top of the Line Barber Shop, which has been located at 422 East M.L. King Boulevard since 1993, doesn't just provide a service. It's also a place of unity.

"I just hope the city can come together. Everybody help everybody," said Top of the Line barber Jacques "Uncle Q" Carney. "If somebody has a lot of resources, maybe find a way to help others that maybe don't have as much.

"I am not rich, but I am trying to find anything I can do to help others. I have been in Chattanooga for four years now and it's left a lasting impression on me. This shop means a lot to people and Terry Nelson (shop owner) is a great family guy. All we can do is keep it in God's hands. That's all we can do," Carney said.

With so many businesses being drastically affected right now, stores hope that help can be provided.

Even before the executive order went out, Southside Salon & Spa said business had already been cut in half, if not even more, over the last two weeks.

"We are trying to get the cosmetology board and some of our distributors to help us get information about if there is anything our industry is going to offer to help us," Oddister said. "I talked to my insurance person this morning and, as of right now, Tennessee is not a state that has mandated that the coronavirus is going to help us with our policy. She did say that it is changing hourly, so that would be huge if our insurance policies come through to help out.

"We just have to all band together and get through this."

Reach Patrick MacCoon at pmaccoon@timesfreepress.com.

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