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‘We are just starving,’ South Florida barber says as he illegally reopens business

Entrepreneur to officer closing his business: ‘It’s essential for me and my family’

MIRAMAR, Fla. – South Florida barber Daniel Liriano told Local 10 News he is back open for business, despite knowingly breaking the law.

Hours later, an officer showed up to close his doors. He told the officer that he disagreed with the law because his business is essential to him, his employees and their families.

“I didn’t get no stimulus, I didn’t get no unemployment. Basically, we are just starving,” he said. “I got a family, I have got kids -- we are just starving.”

Liriano owns the Lion barbershop on State Road 7 in Miramar.

Before opening, he hired a cleaning crew and stocked up on all precautionary items.

“We have to open up,” he said. “We are taking all the precautions. Everyone that comes here, we take their temperature, they have to clean their hands with hand sanitizer. If they don’t have a mask, we will provide it for them.”

Liriano said each barber will also be more than 6 feet apart from each other.

While Liriano said he knows opening his business is against law and that his business is considered to be non-essential, he also knows he is not the only one hurting.

Further south in Miami Beach, Local 10 News caught up with Lymari Veloz, who owns Beach Hair Salon. It’s been shut down for two months because of the pandemic.

“I am tempted, but I am definitely not going to do it,” she said when asked about reopening. “I would hate to think that I’m the reason somebody is in the hospital.”

Veloz fears too many others in the beauty industry are starting to open shop, dangerously on the down-low.

“It’s very frustrating when you go around and you see that others are not following the rules,” she said. “A lot of people are doing it.”

She wants government leaders to work on educating small business owners on how to reopen safely and legally.

“I think by opening small businesses, you have a bigger control of following the guidelines and making sure that everyone is safe,” Veloz said.

Gov. Ron DeSantis met with hairdressers and barbers this past weekend in Orlando to discuss precautions for reopening.

Liriano said he has a message for the governor and county leaders.

“I am not hurting anybody. I just want to go back to work,” he said. “I don’t want to go to people’s houses. I am not forcing anyone to come. If you want to come, you’re welcome to come. If you don’t want to come, then God bless you too.”