CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. (CBS) — They want to be given the chance to survive, to feed their families. Those are just two of the reasons that at least two local businesses plan to defy the governor and reopen in just days. The owners say they have a plan to keep everyone safe.
Collin Whitney opened PWRBLD Gym just eight months ago.READ MORE: 2 Teens Shot In Targeted Attack In Northeast Philadelphia: Police
“This is everything that I ever worked for,” Whitney said.
Whitney was only able to stay open for a short while before social distancing and stay-at-home rules forced his businesses to close.
“Within six months, it got shut down and almost taken away, and there is nothing we could do,” Whitney said.
But come Monday, his Conshohocken gym is reopening despite being located in an area of the state where nonessential businesses like his are still supposed to remain shuttered.
“We’ve been pushed to the limit as far as how long we can sustain this shutdown before the gym just goes under anyway,” Whitney said. “We’re kind of just pushed to the edge.”
Whitney’s gym isn’t the only one strong-arming the state’s rules.
Transcend Fitness Club in Newtown is unlocking its doors on Saturday. The owner there said on Facebook that he’s doing it for his family, knowing a continued closure would kill his small business.READ MORE: 'Y'all Took My Only Son From Me': Tommie Frazier's Loved Ones Mourn Teen Killed In West Philly Shooting
“Going to yellow in the face of a virus that’s sitting there saying, ‘I don’t think you’re really ready.’ It could put the lives of folks in that county at risk,” Gov. Tom Wolf said.
Whitney disagrees with the governor, saying he’s enforcing strict cleaning and occupancy restrictions.
“Two-hour time slots,” he said. “The members are going to be 90-minutes so that leaves us a half hour to clean and do upkeep. Limiting to around 10.”
He believes that will keep his customers safer than some other businesses, which have been deemed essential.
“I just feel like if a Walmart can be open and there are a 1,000 people in there and all they’ve essentially done is put some tape on the ground, why can’t we have a chance to keep our business alive as well?” Whitney said.
So what about insurance? On Friday, Gov. Wolf said he was not sure if claims would be honored by businesses who violate the reopening orders.MORE NEWS: Expert: New Jersey Native Samantha Josephson's DNA Found Under Suspect's Nails
Whitney says he’s not worried. He’s working with other gyms who have opened to make sure he has the proper insurance coverage.