By Jeff Harrison
Lee Roy Tucker has been cutting hair in Midwest City for more than 50 years.
He was forced to put his clippers down and close Tucker’s Style Shop last month due to the coronavirus.
After a one month hiatus, Tucker was back in business today.
“We’ve been out a month exactly and it’s been tough with rent and utilities that still go on,” he said. “It’s good to be back open. Our customers trust us and they’re relieved to get back in here.”
Tucker’s Style Shop had 35 people scheduled for haircuts on Friday. They usually would see about 15-20 customers on a busy day. Keith Simpson was among those anxious for a trim.
“I usually just come in here but I knew they’d be busy so I called right away at 9 a.m.,” he said.
Personal care services, such as barber shops, hair salons, nail salons, and pet groomers were allowed to reopen Friday as part of Gov. Kevin Stitt’s three-phase plan to reopen the state’s economy. The plan allows the state to gradually loosen restrictions as long as it can manage the number of positive cases of COVID-19 and hospitalizations. It also requires sufficient testing with the ability to conduct contact tracing, and sufficient supplies of personal protective equipment and critical medical equipment.
Midwest City officials supported the plan and City Manager Tim Lyon approved a revised emergency order that allowed those businesses to reopen.
All personal care businesses must be open by appointment only and adhere to strict sanitation and disinfecting protocols and social distancing guidelines. All employees at Tucker’s Style Shop must wear a face mask. They are sanitizing all equipment and chairs after each customer and using hand sanitizer.
Tucker said he was pleased that Stitt and Midwest City leaders allowed businesses like his to reopen.
“Mayor (Matt) Dukes is a client here and I think he realized what we’re going through and that helps,” he said.
The small business owner said he is applying for assistance with the Paycheck Protection Program. Tucker has two employees – Lisa Hudson who works full time and Floyd who helps part time.