A beauty salon in New York City has filed for bankruptcy after a decade of operating, but the owners say the city is not their only option.
The owners say they need to sell to get cash to pay back creditors.
Leah Wills, the owner of The Body Shop and Beauty Lounge, has been in bankruptcy since 2011.
She said her business has been suffering from anemic sales since she shut down in 2010, and that the city’s laws on medical marijuana and other business-related regulations have made it difficult to reopen.
She says she lost $3.5 million in the last three years.
Wills said she could never get into a new business, because her existing one was also in the process of closing.
The city is in the middle of a multiyear effort to legalize medical marijuana.
But the city has not yet taken action on the state’s initiative legalizing recreational marijuana.
It also has not legalized marijuana sales.
Wants to be a “health-care provider,” and that means selling medical marijuana, she said.
“You know, I can’t run my business like a bank, like a payday loan business,” Wills told CBS News.
“You know you have to have a business plan, and I just can’t do that.”
According to a city report, the business has had $1.6 million in revenue since 2006.
Wives, staff, and vendors all have medical marijuana cards, and Wills has a doctorate in medicine.
She and her husband, Jeff, started the business as a massage parlor, but eventually moved to the spa.
Jeff Wills owns The Body and Beauty Shop in New Yorker Square, in Brooklyn.
He and his wife Leah opened The Body in 2005.
They also have a spa.
WIllows’ husband has also owned a nail salon and is now the owner.
He has no medical marijuana card, and has no plans to renew his.
Wills said the city could not help her because the city had failed to regulate her business.
“It’s been a complete failure by the city of New York,” she said of her bankruptcy filing.
Willy said she is working with other residents to petition the city for a moratorium on any new medical marijuana licenses until the city implements the state law that allows the dispensaries.WILLS said she did not think that the state would approve the new law because the local medical marijuana regulations were lax.
The city has only limited regulations, and she said she had been told by the Department of Health that her business was operating without proper paperwork.
Willy said her salon, like other businesses, must pay for any expenses related to the dispensary.
She does not have enough money to pay for the spa or for any additional employees, she added.
“I’ve been on the street for the last six months,” she told CBS New York.
“If we can’t make some money, we are going to lose our livelihoods,” she added, adding that she and her family had a lot of difficulty in finding jobs because she is unemployed.
Willows has been working to reopen the business.
She has applied for permits for a medical marijuana dispensary, but she has yet to receive a permit.
She believes she has a chance to open the business if she can secure a bank loan.
Willing said she has already invested more than $20,000 in the business, and the city says that she has not provided any evidence of her financial situation.
“There is absolutely no way to prove you are solvent,” she argued in her bankruptcy petition.
“I do not have the funds to pay the taxes on my business,” she insisted.
“If I had enough money, I would have a place to stay.”