Some hair salons, barbershops and other beauty industry businesses are asking Gov. Gavin Newsom for permission to do business outside during the pandemic.
Beauty shops say they want to be able to remain open and offer their services in parking lots and sidewalks -- just like restaurants. Current state law says salons must perform their service inside a licensed business.
"My bills are still going to be due at the end of the day. When all this is over, everybody wants their money," said Tamai Atlas, who runs a salon in Grand Terrace.
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"The impact on these individuals has been really cruel," said California Assemblyman Jim Patterson (R-Fresno).
Patterson held a Zoom conference call Thursday with several salon owners.
"There are individuals who have put all their life savings and all their dreams into the operations of their shops, only to be told, 'You can't go outside. You can't operate in a way that others operate.' And it is arbitrary and unfair," Patterson said.
Patterson said he's sending a letter to Newsom asking him to let barbershops and salon owners do business outside.
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"I'm very capable of moving my entire salon outside," said Christina Maniaci, who owns a salon in Redondo Beach. She, like many salon owners, has already made changes to the way she does business.
"It's cleaner and it's safer to come in to get a hair cut than it actually is to go to the grocery store. I know that people need to get groceries," Maniaci said.
Some fear that closing businesses might actually mean salon and barber shop owners and employees start doing business underground.
"We have no idea what people are doing for sanitation in their home. There's no way you can regulate that at all whatsoever. And, guess what? You can't tax them, either. So they're going to put all of that money in their pocket. This is not going to be good for anyone. We want to do this legally and we want to do it right. But if you don't let us, trust me, we'll find a way to make money," said salon owner Jesse Santiago.
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