(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) A tailor in New York City opened his shop for business last week despite the city’s shelter-in-place order, arguing that the government doesn’t have the right to decide which businesses are essential, and which ones aren’t.
“I’m opening my doors come hell or high water,” 78-year-old Eliot Rabin, who owns an Upper East Side boutique, called Peter Elliot. “Why is a liquor store essential and I’m not?” Rabin told the New York Post.
Rabin said he’s laid off 12 employees from his 21-member staff, some of whom have been with him for 35 years—yet he hasn’t received a dime of financial assistance.
“We’ve applied for every loan, every break … to no avail. We got bubkes,” he said..
Now he needs to do what’s right for his business and employees, Rabin explained, adding that his store will adhere to the federal government’s health guidelines and that the health of his employees will continue to be his top priority.
He only has two employees in the store at a time, and each is expected to wear a medical mask while working.
Rabin also plans to limit how many customers he has in the store at a time, according to the Post.
“I spray my Lysol like I spray my Chanel cologne for men,” Rabin said.
Several customers have returned to Rabin’s store since he reopened, he told the Post, and Rabin has already begun to receive requests for large social gatherings in the near future, such as bar mitzvahs and weddings.
Some of his clients are still worried that they’ll get in trouble, but Rabin said he isn’t worried.
“If I do get in trouble, it will be for the right reasons. What are they going to do? Yell and scream at me? Fine me $500?” Rabin said.
“It would be worth it, for me to be able to open my mouth and say this is not equitable,” he continued. “If they try to arrest me, I’ll say, ‘Am I in a police state now?’ They’re not going to arrest me.”
Rabin said the only thing he’s worried about is doing what’s right for his business and his employees.
“I’m fighting for the soul of my company and my people,” he said. “I’m doing what I think is right to protect my business and employees from this disaster.”