Beauty salon licensing fees outrage owners

Posted: Updated:
ELIZABETH -

The owners of beauty salons and barbershops in Elizabeth say that they are angry about new licensing fees issued by the city.

The owners received letters earlier this year advising them of a new city ordinance that will require them to pay $350 a year for a license to operate. Businesses that offer nail services like manicures and pedicures will have to pay another $350 per year. Businesses that wish to stay opened past 8:30 p.m. will have to pay an additional $100.

The owners say that the fees are eating into their profits.

“It’s really outrageous that they go from nothing…to this big bill. It’s really unfair to us and small businesses. We are trying to grow and be a part of the community,” says owner Diana Maldonado.

Maldonado says that she was told by Elizabeth Mayor Chris Bollwage that the owners had until June to pay. She says that she and other business owners started to get tickets for not paying the fees.

Business owners packed a City Council meeting Tuesday night to express their concerns. They told the council that most of the small businesses don’t bring in enough revenue to pay the fines. They said that they had to already pay state licensing fees.

“This is a lot of money. It’s a lot of nails and hair we have to do to come up with that amount of money,” Maldonado says.

A city licensing officer offered to meet with the owners to discuss and explain the fees.  The council president also promised to consider changing the ordinance if the fees remain a hardship.

The owners tell News 12 New Jersey that they have to pay a state fee of $100 every other year. They say that up until now they have never had to pay a city licensing fee and that they want to know where the money will go.

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