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Business owner: "I would have to lose everything I’ve worked all my life for"

Posted at 4:52 PM, Jul 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-24 23:28:38-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Eric Nolan has owned his Xtreme Training Center for more than 30 years and now he says this shutdown is not only going to likely cause him to close his doors for good but possibly lose everything he has worked for over the past three decades.

“I would be bankrupt, I would lose my house yea it would be over,” Nolan said.

Nolan told 23ABC News that he is planning for the worst but hoping for the best following Governor Gavin Newsom's announcement.

“Of those counties that have been on for at least three days - Kern just went on that - are on for three-plus days,” Newsom said Friday.

Shortly after this announcement, Kern County Public Health issued a statement saying that businesses are required to close down or be modified to operate outside. However, Nolan said for gyms like his that’s not possible.

“I don’t think that’s possible when its 110 degrees outside. It’s very hard to train and also I have a building and a cage and thousand and thousands of pounds of iron and you can not socially distance when you are doing Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai,” Nolan said.

Along with gyms like Xtreme Training Center other industries that offer personal care services like hair salons, barbershops, shopping malls, tasting rooms, movie theaters, places of worship are all being asked to close and or shift their services to the outdoors. However, unlike before, this is a more permanent mandate for Kern County.

“Unlike before the Governor's order does not allow us to come off of the monitoring list and then come off of the orders and allow them to reopen,” Director of The Kern County Public Health Department Matt Constantine said.

For local business owners like Nolan who spent the last three decades building their livelihood, it could mean they will have to start all over, now that state and county assistance is drying up.

“So I would have to lose everything I’ve worked all my life for and the key thing is I was just getting ready to retire,” Nolan said.

As of 5 p.m., Friday many Downtown Bakersfield businesses were still open but this will likely be a very different scene come Saturday morning when businesses learn the news.

It is also important to note that the county said that they are planning to discuss how to get further funding to support businesses during the pandemic and those details are still to come.