The new closure of salons and barbershops ordered by the health authorities due to the rebound of the coronavirus, has Los Angeles barbers and stylists, indebted and desperate for the lack of income, and some have even closed their businesses due to the impossibility of paying the rental. Others are considering filing for bankruptcy.
Adriana Pérez, owner of two barbershops in Los Angeles along with her partner Gabriela Garay, are full of anxiety and frustrated that less than a month and a half from reopening, on July 13 they closed them again.
“They want us to stay in the house, but who pays for our biles (accounts). We already owe more than $ 18,000 for the rent for the two barber shops, ”said Adriana.
Also at home, she has three young children to support.
“We also cannot apply for unemployment. We are employers, young entrepreneurs who give work to immigrants and citizens ”.
He said the California government has only helped them with a $ 10,000 loan. “We cannot work, but large shopping centers such as Walmart, Costco, Food for Less, or Superior can. It seems they want you to go to work at McDonald, “she said annoyed.
According to the owner of LB’S barbershops, one in Baldwin Park and the other in Sun Valley in Los Angeles County, they barely seemed to start breathing after three months of business closure due to the pandemic, when they were again ordered to stop .
“Now they want us to work outside the business, outdoors. But how are we going to manage hygiene, or use a dryer,They want the hair that falls to the ground to roll all over the parking lot?… It is stupid ”.
Adriana revealed that they are going to ask the authorities to consider them essential workers and let them work.
“Where does the mayor of Los Angeles and the authorities cut his hair? Who cuts the cops’ hair? I always see them with their haircuts very well done when they appear on the news, while the rest of the people are all shaggy and disorganized, “he said.
Juan Carlos Barbosa, owner of the Beauty Emporium salon in the city of Cudahy in Los Angeles County, said he was starting to do well when they gave the order to re-close salons and barbershops.
“By wanting us to work outside of business, we are only going to be able to make cuts when our earnings are in the dark.”
But he also considered that working outside is very complicated, and more so at times when they are required to be stricter with cleaning.
He said that he is thinking of renting a tent to put it in the parking lot of the business and thus be able to work, but he maintains his doubts. “I wonder if it’s worth doing. We cannot wash people’s hair, nor can we send them to wash at home. Some time ago it was in the news that a woman’s skull was burned when she left with the dye and the ‘highlights’ (lights in Spanish) on, with the intention of washing when she got home. ”
The stylist with more than 20 years of experience said that he understands that the authorities need to control the virus, but the problem for them is that the rent for the salons does not wait, they have to be paid.
“It seems to me that those who are making the decisions on how we should work the stylists and barbers, do not have the knowledge of our work and the income”.
Juan Carlos commented that he has stylist friends who preferred to close their businesses, “rather than endow themselves with so much income. They say that when this is all over, maybe they will reopen. ”
He acknowledged that he has endured so many months without work in the hope that it will end soon, and he can reopen his salon.
To the dangerous fresco
Teacher María Teresa Villarreal, founder of the Association of Barbershop and Cosmetology Employers of Southern California and owner of the Cosmetic Beauty School in Downey, affirmed that this order for barbers and stylists to cut hair on the street, outside of their “al fresco” businesses such as restaurants, is very dangerous.
“In the sidewalk or parking lot you cannot have control of disinfection and hygiene. You can’t control anything. I think that those who are making the decisions do not analyze, ”he lamented.
He added that working outdoors involves great risks of COVID-19 infection. “There is no way to wash your hands for either the stylist or barber or the client. Also how to handle the electrical wiring needed to connect the hair clippers“
María Teresa expressed her concern because she observed that in addition to everything, for the reopening of salons and barbershops on June 1, heavy investments were made to adapt them to the new restrictions ordered to prevent the transmission of the virus. “We were already overdoing it on protections. If they wanted more, we could have widened the distances, but not closed again. “
The serious thing is that for those barbers and stylists who do not comply and are found working within their salons and barbershops, heavy fines have already been announced.