Parlier hair salons and barbershops able to reopen after nearly 2 months of closures

PARLIER, Calif. (KFSN) -- It's back to business for Phat Bobby's Cuts in Parlier.

Owner Roberto Iniguez closed his doors to the public on March 20 and reopened Monday morning.

The 31-year-old has been in the hair business for nearly a decade. The sudden closure financially impacted Iniguez and his five other barbers.

"I haven't been able to make money for almost two months," he said. "It's impacted it drastically. I have to take out of the savings."

On Friday, Parlier's City Council voted to reopen the city's hair salons and barbershops with restrictions, like accepting clients by appointment only, allowing no more than 10 people inside the business, and wearing a mask during cuts.

Although the passage goes against California Gov. Gavin Newsom's restrictions to reopen such businesses, Mayor Alma Beltran says she felt comfortable.

"He needs to really understand the hardship that our rural communities are facing," she said. "So it makes sense to do this in San Francisco, and maybe L.A. in large areas, but it doesn't make sense for rural communities because we struggle already."

That struggle is impacting her city's most vulnerable population: immigrants.

"You have immigrants from India, you have immigrants from Mexico, you have some from El Salvador," Mayor Beltran said. "You have them from all over. They don't have the resources to sustain their business."

Resources available through the federal government are not a feasible option for some of these immigrant small business owners.

"They can't even get the stimulus funding because if they have anyone in their family, if their spouse is an illegal here, they don't qualify either," Mayor Beltran said.

As Parlier slowly begins to reopen its small businesses, Phat Bobby's will continue to follow the city's guidelines.

"Do yourself, do ourselves the favor of just being able to make our money nice and safely," Iniguez said. "We can have ends meet for our houses, our homes, our kids."
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