A new law and city ordinance going into effect early next month has some local businesses scrambling to get their massage therapy licenses, and other businesses hoping it will curb some inappropriate phone calls.
Andrea Bonner, owner of Andrea's Magic Touch Massage has been practicing for three years, but she is just now getting her massage therapy license to comply with the new city ordinance. Bonner says, "it makes me feel a lot more credible to others and it makes me look a lot more credible when they see my business." The licensing is subjecting Bonner to extensive background checks but she says it's worth it if it will ward off unwanted customers, "I’ll have someone call up and request things they maybe want done that aren't legal and that I will not do."
Even businesses that have been licensed for quite sometime are finding an increase in such customer inquiries, as Dr. Shalona McFarland with Abundant Health LLC tells 11 News, "I’ve had people call in and say I’m just looking for a lady for some company tonight, and then I refer them away from me." McFarland says that on occasion men will call in with agenda's asking for services that go well beyond what any legitimate business offers, McFarland has an answer for them, "I just tell them no this isn't your place and you should go find a local hooker or something."
Bonner remains hopeful the new ordinance will help the legitimacy of her business but she says she knew the stigma when she signed up for it, "it unfortunately sort of comes with the territory." But Grand Junction doesn't want it on its territory and it’s making an effort to keep it off.