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Central, South Coast Businesses Struggle To Deal With Second Coronavirus Shutdown Order

Joshua's Barbershop in Thousand Oaks is coping with its second shutdown this year due to coronavrius safety orders.

The buzz of hair clippers is missing from a well know Conejo Valley barber shop.  The barber’s chairs at Joshua’s Men’s Parlor and Couture are empty.  Owner Joshua Juarez and barber Sergio Salvador are doing some paperwork.

The coronavirus crisis has forced the Thousand Oaks barber shop to shut down for a second time, adding to an already tough time for the more than two decade old business.

The surge in coronavirus cases prompted the state to roll back a number of reopenings this week.

The list includes gyms and fitness centers, places of worship, indoor protests, offices for non-critical infrastructure, personal care services including nail salons, hair salons and barbershops, and malls.

In Ventura County, the order says the new closures will remain in effect until lifted by the state.  In Santa Barbara County, the order says people should expect for them to remain closed until at least August 12th.

Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties have been on a state watch list for failing to meet all of the state’s reopening criteria.  Being on the list mean that restaurants could only operate on site dining services if the had outdoor seating.  But, the spike in coronavirus cases prompted the state to expand that rule statewide this week.

For small businesses like Joshua’s Barber Shop in Thousand Oaks, the new shutdown is hard, but also not entirely unexpected.  Salvador admits they thought it would be a possibility.

Juarez says they were able to get one of the federal loans, which has helped them keep stay in business.  But, he says it hasn’t been easy.  He says when they were allowed to reopen in June, after being closed for months, the mask requirements prevent them from doing some of their most popular services, like beard and moustache trims.  Business was down by around 50% in June.

He says some of his barbers had to take other work as a result of the crisis.

But, some of his competitors weren’t following the orders Tuesday.  A barber at one barbershop down the street on Thousand Oaks Boulevard told KCLU News that she was working because her boss, the owner, told her to do it.  Another shop down the street was also open.

Juarez says he understands there's a crisis, and he shut down his barbershop, and will take whatever safety steps are required to reopen is place safely.  He says despite the financial hardship, public safety comes first.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.