California facing lockdown again — restaurants, hair salons, hotels scramble for survival


Ace of Fades barbershop owner Leo Barajas cuts a customer’s hair in his shop on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. Local barbershops and nail salons are bracing for the impact of another stay-at-home order that would force personal care businesses and other industries to temporarily shut down. (KSWB)

SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s pending decision to lock down most of the state is expected to hurt local barbershops, nail salons, and other personal care businesses and other industries.

Hotels, microbreweries and restaurants are also looking at lean times ahead.

The order is expected to take effect within days.

One business that appears headed for tough times is Ace of Fades barbershop, which has two locations in the south portion of San Diego County.

“Got really nervous because now having two shops, it’s more responsibility,” said owner Leo Barajas, who just opened his shop in the past month in Imperial Beach, Calif.

Under the state’s plan, a number of businesses would need to close entirely to customers. That creates uncertainty for ones expected to close including hair and nail salons as well as barbershops like the ones operated by Barajas.

“Not knowing if you’re going to be able to pay rent or just in general stay in business with my shops, that’s pretty scary,” Barajas said. “It does get to me. I get stressed out, but I have to keep a positive mind to get me by.”

The new rules are triggered when fewer than 15% of beds are available in intensive care units for regional hospital networks. Although no region met that criteria as of Thursday, Newsom said four of the state’s five regions — excluding the San Francisco Bay Area — will meet that threshold within a day or two.

The Southern California region lumps San Diego County along with Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside counties.

Barajas said he doesn’t agree with grouping San Diego in with the others.

“I think we should be separated and if we are doing good as a city, I think we should be rewarded by letting us stay open,” he said.

Barajas believes he could handle a three-week shutdown, the length of the stay-at-home order laid out Thursday by Newsom. He certainly hopes it wouldn’t last much longer than that, though.

“I personally know friends of mine that own barbershops and businesses that had shut down already and I think this one is going to hurt more people,” he said.

KSWB’s Kasia Gregorczyk contributed to this report.

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