Small business owners stunned by new shutdown order

Posted at 5:17 PM, Jul 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-13 21:23:48-04

SAN DIEGO — Corinne Lam was in the middle of cutting a client's hair when her phone started blowing up.

Governor Newsom had just announced that several businesses - including salons - had to cease indoor operations.

“We're going back to square one. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200,” she said.

Lam was especially frustrated because her client at the time had COPD, making her high risk for Covid-19. Yet she trusted Lam enough to still come to Rancho Bernardo’s Salotto Salon, which was reserved entirely for her.

“And knowing that she feels as safe as she does here, it was otherwise maddening,” Lam said.

Newsom announced the new round of shutdowns Monday - forcing gyms, salons, and malls to cease indoor operations in 30 counties - including San Diego.

The order came after an increase in covid related hospitalizations, ICU beds, and positivity testing rates. It will last until the state’s Public Health Officer deems it safe to reopen.

“It's incumbent upon all of us to recognize soberly that Covid-19 is not going away anytime soon,” Newsom said.

The decision leaves Lam and other business owners wondering how they'll survive. Like her, many have already exhausted their Paycheck Protection Program funds that helped get them through the first shutdown.

“It's like we're jumping into a pool with no water,” she said. “So who is going to supply the water? I don't know.”

Lam may be able to move her haircuts outside, but it's complicated. Plus, the concrete's sweltering, especially with masks and gloves.