California Governor Gavin Newsom is slowly beginning to re-open the state in phases.
On Monday, May 18th — most of the San Francisco Bay Area will enter phase II, which will include the reopening of businesses with curbside pickup such as bookstores, florists, and other retail stores.
Some barbershop owners feel they should reopen, too.
Many have been struggling to keep their business afloat as they wait for the lockdown to be over.
“I’m still waiting on my stimulus check. I haven’t received that yet. But I did finally get my EDD card so that’s the plus right there with how the government is actually trying to help but as far as the struggle it’s the financial thing we’re all kind of feeling that,” said James Aragon, San Mateo Zoo Barbershop.
It’s been especially hard for owners who have recently opened up their own shops and barber schools.
“As far as help from the government or any kind of aid, it’s been little to no help. We had to start our own fundraiser and we still have to pay rent… so as far as loss of income we’re at 100 percent right, and it’s only going to get worse with them not letting us know when we can open,” said Anthony Cordero, The Academy, Ace of Fades.
“We opened up in February 2020 and in order for us to get any kind of government assistance we had to open in September 2019. So I can get personal help but I can’t get it for the barbershop,” said Randy Tagle, Caken’ Cuts Barbershop.
“The thing that I’m worried about the most, of course, other than my family are the guys in the shop, the renters in the shop. Some of us have other choice of incomes, but at the same time for the most part, this is the meat and potatoes as far as putting food on the table,” said Phil Alapati, Philgoodcuts.
These barbers said they are ready to open up with restrictions in place and that they already practice what they call a high level of safety and hygiene.
“Us going to school we practice sanitation for at least 1600 hours prior to even getting a license and it’s a big part of our test but we’re doing all we can whether it be wiping down our chairs, wearing masks, protective equipment. For us being essential, honestly I feel we should be open in phase 2. I don’t feel phase 3 is something a barber shop, a nail salon, or even a hair salon should be in,” said Derrick Pecson, Black & Gold Barber Lounge.
These barbers said they are ready to open up with restrictions in place, and that they already practice what they call a high level of safety and hygiene.
These shop owners are part of an organization called Bay Area Barber Brotherhood, and they are planning to enlist the help of elected leaders to assist them in reopening all barbershops in the safest way.