KCMO warns non-essential businesses defying stay-at-home order

Star Beauty Store in KCMO
Posted at 10:08 PM, Mar 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-31 23:26:13-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — With more confirmed COVID-19 cases expected in the area, Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Quinton Lucas said Monday his stay-at-home emergency order could last longer than the initial 30 days.

Lucas also warned businesses that the city is receiving complaints about businesses not complying with his order to shut down.

"They're only letting two or three people in, so why is the city worried about it?" a customer said outside Star Beauty, 4704 Virginia Avenue.

But the line outside the beauty supply store has caught people's attention.

"You see my hair, it needs to be done. So this the only store that open and, god, I appreciate them because no one else is open. So why is it the city's business that they're open? So I'm glad they're open," said that customer who didn't want to give her name.

But under the stay-at-home order that went into effect March 24, beauty supplies store like Star Beauty are not essential businesses. However, a KCMO Health Department representative told 41 Action News on Tuesday that after speaking with Lucas and his staff, it was determined that the store is operating as an essential business.

So far, at least nine people have called 311 to let the city know.

A man working security at the store told 41 Action News they have consent to be open.

However, the KCMO Health Department told 41 Action News that's not the case.

While Star Beauty stores in Independence and Lenexa are closed due to the crisis, 41 Action News wanted to know why this one is the exception.

According to Missouri business filings, Star Beauty is owned by Joo Sung Kim. Attempts to Kim over the phone and in person were not successful.

"Essential businesses really speak to those businesses that keep our communities open, right, that are actually taking care of folks helping both communities survive and people survive," Lucas said during a news conference Monday.

Several other beauty supply stores 41 Action News visited Monday have closed due to the crisis.

Lucas said inspectors have handed a warning letter to about 200 businesses that have failed to comply with his order.

"We will continue to do that businesses that need to comply, largely need to shut down," Lucas said.

The Jackson County Health Department also issued a warning letter to Bass Pro in Independence telling the company if they remain open this week law enforcement will be contacted.

Bass Pro responded to 41 Action News in a statement that said in part "we are committed to complying fully with all laws and regulations."

As of Monday night, city prosecutors in Kansas City, Missouri, haven't filed any cases against individuals or businesses for violating the stay-at-home order.