- September 9, 2021
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Ricardo Manzanillo, owner of MT Clippers Barbershop, Grasmere, and VIP Barbershop, Tompkinsville, said he hopes that opening on Sundays can help him recoup losses sustained during the coronavirus pandemic. (Courtesy of Ricardo Manzanillo)
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — An “archaic law” prohibiting barbering on Sundays has now been lifted.
This means local hair salons and barber shops will have the option of being open on Sundays to customers, which many hairstylists say will help recoup revenue lost when shops were mandated to be shuttered during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed legislation on Tuesday that repeals provisions of a law prohibiting the practice of barbering on Sunday. Though rarely enforced, there had been a law on the books making it a misdemeanor to cut hair or provide a shave to another person on Sundays.
“As a barber, it’s a great feeling knowing we are allowed to offer our service to our clients,” said Ricardo Manzanillo, owner of MT Clippers Barbershop, Grasmere, and VIP Barbershop, Tompkinsville. “It will also allow us to work and recover in some way after the temporary shutdown of our businesses last year due the pandemic, and the recent customer price inflation [of products and services] in 2021.”
He said few barbers, especially those catering to minority communities, were aware of the outdated law.
“That law wasn’t known for many in the minority — especially Hispanic and African-American — communities. We used to work every day in order to provide for our families without knowing about it. Now, we know that we won’t incur any violations,” added Manzanillo.
While the former law was rarely enforced, it actually carried a short potential jail sentence.
“Any person who carries on or engages in the business of shaving, hair cutting or other work of a barber on the first day of the week, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof shall be fined … or be imprisoned in the county jail for a period of not less than 10 days, nor more than 25 days,” said the law, which has now been lifted.
The repealed provisions take effect immediately.
“This is the very definition of an archaic and meaningless law that makes little to no sense in the 21st century,” Cuomo said. “While not routinely enforced, I’m more than happy to sign this repeal into law and allow these businesses to determine what days they choose to operate.”
SHOP OWNERS HAPPY LAW WAS LIFTED
And many Island barber shop and salon owners said they have long been pushing for the “outdated law” to be repealed, especially since many other businesses are allowed to be open seven days per week.
“Politicians should recognize that small businesses are the backbone of America and should be allowed to work seven days if they choose,” said Mike Etelzon, owner of Mike’s Barbershop, Great Kills. “If a chain like McDonald’s can be open seven days, so should barbershops.”
And while some salon owners say they choose to stay closed on Sundays, they explain the option to open is one that is necessary.
“Working in the service industry, I make sure I give myself time off so I can have a work/life balance. But I do think we should be able to provide services any day of the week,” said Lisa Konecny, owner of Painter + Mane in Sola Salons, Port Richmond.
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