Businesses across San Diego County welcome back customers inside

Posted at 5:30 PM, Aug 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-01 09:17:10-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- For the first time since mid-July, several San Diego County businesses were allowed to resume indoor operations.

Under Gov. Gavin Newsom's new tiered system for businesses reopening during the pandemic, several more industries can welcome customers inside, but with modifications and or capacity limits.

Danny Daniels owns Barbers Den in Chula Vista. He was thrilled to have customers back inside Monday afternoon.

"This is my passion, I love barbering, I love everything about barbering," said Daniels, who has been cutting hair for nearly 20 years.

"I truly believe something as simple as a haircut can go a long way in making someone feel good," he added.

Austin Campbell is the managing partner of Sola Salons Studios in San Diego. He owns and helps run 15 locations.

Campbell is among the owners who traveled to the state capitol to protest the governor's second shut down back in July.

"On the first shut down everybody said, this is going to be tough, but it's the right thing to do, everyone just hunkered down and said we gotta get through it, but the second shut down, people took it; personally, they thought this was uncalled for, unfair, completely arbitrary and not researched," said Campbell.

Many stylists said the governor's decision to allow salons to move services outside made no sense.

"The whole offer of outside hair, to be honest with you, was kind of a slap in the face of our industry," said Campbell, adding that inside was safer and more sanitary.

Everything that the state recommended we could do, really pretty much was in complete contradiction to what everyone has been taught and been practicing for their entire careers," said Campbell.

Salons don't have capacity limits, but social distancing and mask mandates must still be followed.

Campbell said the impact of the shutdowns has been far more than just financial.

"A lot of people are not just financially struggling, but mentally, emotionally, professionally, the beauty industry is more than just a job; it's a true career and identity," said Campbell.

Campbell said his salons employ roughly 600 people. Many have already moved out of state.

He has a message for the governor.

"Our industry has been prepared for this long before covid existed, and we take it very seriously. We ask that before you shut down 550 thousand women, first generation immigrants, single mothers, you do a little more research," said Campbell.