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Kern County businesses respond to pending shutdown

Virus Outbreak California Haircut
Envy Salon & Tanning
Gym
Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church
Posted at 4:17 PM, Jul 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-21 20:35:36-04

The countdown has begun as several businesses in Kern County will have to shutdown indoor operations on Friday. This Comes after a spike of COVID-19 cases in the county in recent days put Kern back on the state's monitoring list.

23ABC's Bayan Wang spoke with several businesses on how they're responding.

A lot of businesses are still trying to find a way to respond, especially to their customers as this is the second time that hair and nail salons, gyms, and houses of worship will be prompted to close indoor operations. Many of these places spent thousands of dollars to modify their business after the first closure only to find out that they have to close again.

Envy Salon & Tanning
The countdown has begun as several businesses in Kern County will have to shutdown indoor operations on Friday. This Comes after a spike of COVID-19 cases in the county in recent days put Kern back on the state's monitoring list.

"You're looking at $3,000," said Nancy Balfour, owner of Envy Salon & Tanning.

That's how much Balfour spent to modify her business in order to reopen the first time. Add to that the thousands of dollars in lost revenue and overhead costs. She said shutting down indoor services again on Friday makes it hard to remain optimistic.

Nancy Balfour

"We finally say 'Okay, our salon is slow but we are making it. We'll get through it with the grace of God,' And then something else like this happens," explained Balfour.
From personal care to health and fitness. Gyms must also close inside operations as well.

PPP loans helped Tim Gojich's gym lift the financial weight during the first closure. But that may not be enough this time around.

"The Congress and House spoke about another round of this stuff and to be honest as a small business we are going to need that," said Gojich. "We are going to need a second round of this if we are going to make it to the end of the year."

For Gojich, one of the hardest parts is telling his customers the gym is closing again.

Tim Gojich

"They're willing to do just about anything to keep the gym in their life. Many of the people that are back have voiced to me that it's their sanity. It's how they get through their day and to be honest its the same for me."

Friday's closures will also affect houses of worship. Many plan to go back to streaming services online, according to Deacon David Rodriguez of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church.

Deacon David Rodriguez

"It's been frustrating and very disappointing having to deal with the situation. So many parishioners have looked forward to coming back to enjoy religious services even on a limited basis. And now unfortunately having to take a step backward. It's really disappointing."

Rodriguez also said that there are a lot of marriage blessings and baptisms that he is going to have to put on hold.

As for the businesses 23ABC spoke to, another thing they are dealing with is holding on to their employees. A lot of them are making more money in unemployment than they were at work.