Small NYC clothing shop defies coronavirus closure

Peter Elliot owner Eliot Rabin says reopening is about small business 'across the country'

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High-end Manhattan fashion brand Peter Elliot has officially reopened despite orders for nonessential businesses in New York to remain closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, owner Eliot Rabin told FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo.

Rabin said he decided to reopen the store after applying for small business loans and receiving nothing in return. Now Rabin is more concerned with the economic safety of his employees and American small business.

“I have people who have been working for me for 15 to 35 years and I will not let them suffer,” he said. “This is not about me. This is about small retail, small businesses across the country.”

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Rabin said he thinks it’s “absurd” and “quite dangerous” that liquor stores are considered essential, but his business is not.

Peter Elliot

“I consider us to be essential,” he said. “We basically not just provide needed items, we provide emotional support for our neighborhood … And that's why we did it. We didn't do it for money. We didn't do it for publicity. We did it because it's the right thing to do.”

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Since opening on Friday, Rabin said a few customers have stopped by the store and explained the location is practicing safe social distancing and limiting the number of employees working at once.

Rabin said Peter Elliot is also giving out masks and alcoholic beverages to customers -- or as he jokingly calls it, a “liquid vaccination" -- as a way to “calm people down.”

“I’m protecting my business of 43 years,” he said. “I'm protecting Peter Elliot and Peter Elliot employees and trying to serve as best we can to help the city come back to normalcy, which I don't think it's going to come back to normalcy anytime quick."

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