Confusion surrounding Stay-At-Home orders impact local businesses

PLYMOUTH, Ind. - There has been confusion regarding what businesses are considered essential. One pet grooming business has even had to close and reopen several times because of this mix-up.

With Governor Eric Holcomb announcing an extension of the stay-at-home order until May 1st, he also clarified on Monday what businesses can be open during this time.

There were a lot of questions regarding whether pet grooming is permitted under the governor’s executive order or not, causing Gordons Pet Grooming to close even though it appears they didn’t really have to.

“The state of Indiana kind of went back and forth and then we were told to close and then we were told to open, yes you’re essential you can be open on Friday then on Tuesday no closed so it’s been a constant upheaval of shifting grooming appointments around,” Lara Latshaw, the owner of Gordon’s Pet Grooming said.

In his latest executive order on Monday, Indiana governor Eric Holcomb provided further clarification on what businesses are essential.

The last month has been a confusing time for businesses like pet groomers, greenhouses and nurseries who did not know if they were considered essential and could be open or not.

Gordon's grooming is just one small company affected and they had to close and reopen several times because of the confusion.

Latshaw reached out to ABC57 because she says pet grooming should be considered essential as many pet owners do not know how to safely and properly do it.

Now finding out that her salon could’ve been open this whole time is upsetting with the mix-up obviously costing her business in the process.

“With having to be closed of course it does take away income from the business because the majority of what we do is groom dogs,” she said. “I could have for this whole time been open to selling dog food and supplies but at the time I wasn’t supposed to be grooming dogs. The retail side is only 10% of what we do. It’s all dog grooming so it really did impact us. It’s been tough.”

They have two locations one in Plymouth and one here in Granger. After getting that clarification from the governor on Monday, the Plymouth location opened it’s doors Tuesday and the Granger location is opening back up starting Wednesday.

However, this isn’t the only business confused by the latest executive orders.

ABC57 spoke to Linda Stevens at Heaven Scents Flowers and Gifts earlier this month. Her Marshall County flower shop temporarily shut down in March for the first time in almost 35 years because she thought her business was deemed non-essential.

Stevens says the governor ‘s clarification on Monday came a little late.

“I wish he would’ve clarified that better before. Because now we’ve lost 6 to 8 weeks of business and there are still bills to pay. Even though I own my shop and there’s no rent, there are still utilities, there’s still liability insurance. The bills keep coming. So I wish he would’ve clarified that – set up a list so we could’ve read that,” Linda Stevens, the owner of Heaven Scents Flowers and Gifts in Bourbon, Indiana.

She has had to close her business down because of governor Holcomb’s stay-at-home order.

Now that he has clarified which businesses can stay open, which includes florists, Stevens says she wishes he could’ve explained that earlier so she would’ve had to close down and lose out on business, something she says can’t be earned back.

“I don’t see how we can ever make up what we’ve lost because we’ve lost prom, we’ve lost graduation, we’ve lost funerals. There are no funerals except for immediate family,” she said. “We’re not getting the orders as we did before.”

Thankfully, Stevens’ business opened back up Tuesday for deliveries only and she has a couple of weddings on the books.

Click here for more information on the new executive order.

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