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On Monday morning, Santa Clara County opened hair salons and barbershops for the first time since March 16.
Just a few hours later, teachers and store owners learned that they only had one more day before indoor salon services would close again.
“It was exciting, thrilling, we get to open, then boom – just devastating,” said Laure Chicoine, owner of the Nirvana Aveda Concept Salon in Los Gatos.
Govin Newsom’s order to close indoor operations at midnight on Wednesday in 30 hard-hit counties is the latest setback on a long journey for Santa Clara County hair salons and hair salons.
The county was among the earliest to close its hair salons, and until Sunday, it was one of three counties in the state ̵
To stay afloat, Chicoine flooded its employees and obtained a financial disaster loan from the Small Business Administration. In late June, she organized a protest to demand a new opening date from the county.
On July 2, she received one: Santa Clara County announced that it would allow more businesses, including hair salons, to reopen.
Two days later, California denied the county’s request for readmission. Three days later, the state changed its mind and approved that the variance be resumed.
“We thought it was a prank or something,” Chicoine said on Thursday. “But we confirmed it through [District 1 Supervisor] Mike Wasserman, and now we’re here, ready to reopen. “
Chicoine cleaned his salon and restored his supplies. She called back customers and rescheduled meetings that had been postponed for months.
Fifteen minutes northeast, Dave Diggs prepared his barber shop, The Barbers’ Inc, to reopen. It had been a few tough months too. Unemployment benefits went a long way to cover his personal expenses. But as an entrepreneur, it was different: Even though he did not bring in customers, he still had to pay for his store’s rent, water, electricity and WiFi. Like Chicoine, he received a financial disaster loan to cover the costs.
“I lose about $ 13,000 a month when we’re not open,” Diggs said. “Times of four months … I could not possibly continue to operate without the help of the state.”
It would be “devastating for the company” if they had to close again, Diggs said hours before Newsom’s smashing announcement.
Around a dozen customers cut their hair at Digg’s center in the San Jose barber shop on Monday, when music burst between two rows of black leather chairs and employees and customers were looking forward to being back in the store.
“It’s a literal weight of,” says customer Esteban Galvin, who has had her hair cut by Diggs since 2010.
Diggs had customers booked until the end of the week. So did Chicoine, in Los Gatos, where the familiar scent of hair dye and incense hung in the air, watering around new door-to-door temperature control stations and hand-cleaning appliances mounted on the wall.
In the midst of stirring up a long time customer roots, Chicoine learned about Newsom’s orders. But it was not clear at the time if it could be Santa Clara County.
“We have invested hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, in barriers and face shields and aprons and sanitary ware,” said Chicoine. “If you’re going to open, give us a chance to stay open for a while.”
Nancy Crutchfield, one of Chicoine’s clients, said: “This is business. You can not just turn it on and off like that. “
Hours later, country officials gave an answer to Newsom’s order: indoor salon services must be closed on Wednesday at midnight.
“I’m completely devastated and disappointed,” Chicoine said.
Neither Chicoine nor Diggs yet know how they will survive this new round: “So many things are in the air,” Diggs said.
Diggs said he does not know if he will be able to get more money from the government to cover expenses without the ability to raise revenue. Chicoine does not know if she will be able to keep her salon in Los Gatos afloat.
At the moment, they are trying to get the most out of their 48-hour window. Chicoine and another stylist added more customers Monday night, and she has a 10-hour day booked for Tuesday.
“I do not just want to sit at home and collect unemployment,” Chicoine said. “I want to be behind the chair, in the salon and visit with my clients.”