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Bobby Catone, owner of Sunbelievable tanning salon in Staten Island, New York, said he was hit with a “hefty” fine for defying coronavirus lockdown orders.
Catone told FOX Business’ Neil Cavuto that he first tried to reopen Thursday and was immediately served a $1,000 fine. Then, he said, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio warned that if he stayed open, he would be arrested.
After Catone said he was willing to be arrested, he said de Blasio threatened to strip him of his health license indefinitely.
“We can't afford to stay closed for six, eight, 12 months, so we decided to shut down,” he said.
De Blasio announced Thursday that phase 1 of New York City’s reopening could potentially begin within two weeks, allowing for hundreds of construction, wholesale, manufacturing and non-essential retail employees to go back to work.
But Catone said de Blasio has been “pushing the goal post” on a reopening date for months and he doesn’t know how much longer businesses can survive the wait.
“He's been saying can and may open since April. When does that end?” he said “He keeps pushing the goalpost back. We can't do that anymore. What's the alternative? We have to fight. We can't stay home. All businesses are essential … He's basically saying we're not smart enough to run our businesses. Well, guess what? Newsflash, we're probably smarter than the big box stores.”
Catone said Sunbelievable cannot financially survive any longer being shut down.
“I’m broke,” he said. “All my fellow business owners, we’re all broke.”