East Bay salons, businesses struggle to pay bills after Newsom's order forces them to re-close

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ByAmy Hollyfield KGO logo
Tuesday, July 14, 2020
East Bay salon struggles to pay bills after CA order forces them to re-close
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Hair salon owner Regina Muslimova says she is devastated Governor Newsom has ordered salons to shut down again due to the concerning rise of coronavirus cases and is now trying to figure out how she will pay her bills.

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. (KGO) -- Hair salon owner Regina Muslimova says she is devastated the state has ordered salons to shut down again and is now trying to figure out how she will pay her bills.

"First thing is talk to my landlord. What are we going to do about the rent. I still have not recovered. I am still paying off the first time," she said.

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The rent for her salon, Insignia in Walnut Creek, costs $7,000 a month.

She also had to call her clients and cancel their appointments.

"We were fully booked. You know, clients are still coming in but also people from other counties that are not open yet. They drive all the way here to get their hair done. So we had full books this entire week. Everyone was busy. We had to call and text everyone," she said.

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Governor Gavin Newsom ordered the closures as the number of cases of COVID-19 continues to rise. More than 8% of tests in Contra Costa County came back positive in the last week.

"What I don't understand is, we didn't have any infections here. We kept everything up to code: disinfecting, sanitizing, social distancing. I just don't understand why we have to close," she said.

The salon has shower curtains between the chairs, hand sanitizer, temperature checks, wipes and everyone in masks.

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Business owners in Alameda and Contra Costa counties face another struggle, after finally being able to reopen, and abruptly being shut back down.

The salon's manager, Ashley Flowers, worried this was coming and had warned stylists to prepare.

"Save your money," she says she told them. "As far as I know, that July 25 unemployment is stopping. So you have to save your money as much as possible to make it stretch," she advised.

She will be looking into possible loans for the salon now that they are closed down again. She will also look into options to re-open, like possibly putting salon chairs outside.

"We are going to look for some legal options to continue our business. It's going to be a process. We know it's going to be an uphill battle. But we are communicating with city, state and county to be able to see what our options are to continue," Flowers said.

The new wave of shutdowns is indefinite. No re-open date has been set.

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