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Cosmetologist consider leaving state after getting crushed by COVID-19

Posted at 3:42 PM, Aug 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-19 22:28:36-04

TEHACHAPI, Calif. — Christal Holder, owner of Tangled Salon in Tehachapi, estimates that she has lost more than $20,000 since she was forced to shut down in March. Now she said she’s doing her best to weather the storm for her family but if things don’t change she may leave the state of California.

“It’s really been tough. I mean we are a two-income house, and going down to one income has been really really hard for us,” Holder said.

Holder said her Tehachapi salon has been holding on by a thread since March when she was forced to shut down due to the Coronavirus and she continues to lose money each day the doors to her salon remain closed.

In addition to the more than $20,000 in losses so far, she has also lost three of her four other cosmetologists that were paying rent and helping keep her salon running.

Holder said her landlord has been understanding and as of now, she is not charging her one active stylist rent during this time. She said she's now just doing her best to survive off her savings, spousal income, and unemployment.

"The unemployment that we do get is like a $167 a week. You know, who could live off that,” Holder said.

Holder said this is also why she understands why other cosmetologists are still operating under the radar in Kern County and doing anything to sustain their livelihood. But she said even though her business is suffering she still hasn’t applied for the PPE or CARES Act loan.

"And we don’t want in the end to end up with this loan that we are going to have to pay back. You know even though the interest is super low they say it’s forgivable but is it really forgivable? Like this whole process has been such a mess,” explained Holder.

After working as a successful stylist for more than 30 years, she said working outside in Tehachapi is not feasible with the wind and constant heat. She has considered leaving the state and returning home to Idaho where there are fewer regulations on the cosmetologist industry.

“I have an Idaho license as well. Their shops are open and there still being very cautious you know,” added Holder.

Holder said even though her store remains closed with no reopening date in sight, she said her Tehachapi clients have been super supportive during this time. She said many of them have been bringing meals by her house and they have been helping her in other ways to get by.

If you are a small business and still concerned about whether or not the CARES Act is actually forgivable to county said if you spent the money in the correct time frame and can provide proper receipt documentation the loan is forgivable.