Erie County’s orange zone residents flock to Niagara County businesses

Coronavirus

(WIVB)– Gyms, salons, barbershops and personal care services in Erie County’s orange zone are closed for the foreseeable future.

But in Niagara County, they’re open for business because that area is not in an orange zone.

Now folks in Erie County are opting to travel north for those services.

Some businesses we spoke with say they’re already seeing the effect of Erie County’s closures. The owners of synergy hair studio in Lockport have been getting calls to book appointments all week.

Phone calls have definitely picked up considerably. We have been inundated with phone calls from clients in Erie County and we’re grateful for that, we really are.

Joseph Lagreca, Synergy Hair Studio

Owner Joseph Lagreca says he’s making sure to take extra precaution during this uptick in business since he doesn’t want Niagara County to fall victim to the state’s micro-cluster closures.

Lagreca continues, “To see us part of this early closing was definitely a surprise to us. Thankfully here in Niagara County, we are still open, I’m very thankful for that. But our friends, brothers and sisters in Erie County aren’t.”

Local leaders say while this is great for local businesses who are hurting because of the pandemic, they’re also concerned people traveling back and forth between the counties could lead to an increase in the infection rate.

It is a difficult balance. We’ve watched our businesses struggle and we know we don’t want to go to that next zone, we don’t want our businesses shut back down and we don’t want to take that step backwards. But the ultimate goal is the public health issue involved in keeping our community safe and stopping the spread of the virus.

Becky Wydysh, Niagara County Legislature

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said, “restrictions are being put in to save lives. No one wants to shut down the economy. No one is interested in doing that. We want to save lives.”

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