Residents concerned after Alice Mayor continues to operate cosmetic retail business amid pandemic

Posted at 6:22 PM, Apr 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-01 19:23:53-04

Many Alice residents are upset today because while most retail and salon businesses have closed their doors in Texas, due to COVID 19 safety guidelines, one business remains open.

And the owner of that store is the City of Alice Mayor.

A video posted to the Jolene's Merle Norman Cosmetics Facebook page has the small city of Alice questioning their mayor’s position.

“Taking the current situation with the coronavirus and is using it as an opportunity to promote her business and her products,” said Yolanda Sosa, a resident of Alice.

The video received hundreds of comments of people wondering why a cosmetic Retail business remains open despite Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s orders to shut down all non-essential businesses.

“I mean it’s so clear that makeup is not an essential” said Sosa.

But, Alice Mayor Jolene Vanover says she’s not putting the public at risk.

She’s simply trying to be innovative given the current situation. She’s even recommending that business owners in the personal care industry to do the same.

“Shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, soaps,” said Vanover. “Do curbside, do delivery, so we can keep people out of the big grocers like HEB and Walmart.”

Vanover says she’s committed to social distancing…;

She takes customer orders over the phone and they come by and pick it up from the curbside of her store.

“So basically there’s no interaction,” said Vanover.

The Texas Division of Emergency Management website states Cosmetology Salons are not considered essential business.

It also says drive-thru, pick up, and delivery options are allowed but for foods and drink.

“The Governor’s declaration doesn’t even talk about doing curbside for a retail business,” said Yolanda Sosa.

Vanover says just this week she wrote a letter to the Governor Abbott’s office, asking whether curbside for her retail business is allowed.

We will continue to follow this story, and will update you as we receive information.