Advertisement

Edmonton business owner apologetic for renting salon to party with DJ during pandemic

Khrome Beauty Lounge in south Edmonton on Tuesday, March 9, 2021. Paul Rampersaud, Global News

An Edmonton business owner is apologizing for renting out her nail salon for a large weekend party despite COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.

Police said they broke up a large gathering of at least 125 people who were partying with large amounts of alcohol and a DJ at the Khrome Beauty Lounge early Sunday.

Alberta public health measures meant to contain the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 ban all indoor social gatherings.

Read more: Alberta opens rest of Step 2 relaunch as 278 new COVID-19 cases confirmed

Farida Hussaini, co-owner of the southeast salon, which is also licensed to sell cocktail drinks, said it was rented to a group of 15 people who wanted to celebrate a birthday.

She said the business opened about six months ago and has been struggling.

Story continues below advertisement

“I know that we’re not the only small business suffering. There’s a lot of small businesses suffering,” Hussaini said Tuesday.

“But what provoked us to do this is the fact that it’s just been a tough year on us financially. It has been really hard. We did it out of desperation and we apologize.”

Police said they are working with Alberta Health Services and the City of Edmonton to decide the next steps in the investigation. Health and city officials did not say Tuesday whether the salon would be fined.

Click to play video: 'Alberta businesses opening for in-person dining, not following mask rules despite restrictions' Alberta businesses opening for in-person dining, not following mask rules despite restrictions
Alberta businesses opening for in-person dining, not following mask rules despite restrictions – Jan 25, 2021

Hussaini declined to say who she rented the salon to and at what price. But she did say it wasn’t the first time during the pandemic that it’s been used for a gathering.

The weekend before, she said, the salon was rented to another 15 people for a party.

Story continues below advertisement

“Everybody was wearing masks, social distancing was in place, everything was OK,” Hussaini said.

Read more: ‘Small businesses are struggling to stay alive’: Alberta’s jobless rate remains among highest in country

Hussaini said her business partner has blamed the gathering on her, and they are now in a legal dispute.

“We haven’t been getting along lately. It has been hard. We’re at a point where we don’t know how we’re going to survive, how we’re going to pay our rent.”

She also said the salon and its employees have been receiving a flood of hateful messages, including death threats since news broke about the weekend party.

“Two of them were death threats telling us to die and that they’re going to come and find us and kill us. The publicity from this has been so bad and it has just tarnished our image,” Hussaini said.

“Google reviews have been skyrocketing with just one star from people. I do get it, I know we’ve upset a lot of people, but I hope people understand that we were struggling and I think we became selfish.”

Advertisement

Sponsored content