How Valley business owners are handling the new stay-home order

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The tents at the Train Depot restaurant in Central Fresno sit empty as owner Patricia Escovedo is forced to pivot once again to comply with the state's latest stay home order. She says it's an emotional process.

"Stressed, extremely stressed," she said. "I think my employees are the heaviest thing on my mind right now."

Escovedo spent more than $6,000 to purchase tents, chairs, tables, heaters and other items to keep outside diners comfortable.

But with the San Joaquin Valley Region slipping under 15% ICU availability, she must revert back to takeout and delivery.

"It has been quite the expense and things are just sitting," she said. "They are piled up in my dining car and they are just sitting there going to waste."

Other restaurants such as Ole Frijole in Northwest Fresno have been closed since last month and intend to stay that way through the shutdown to minimize financial losses.

But some have chosen to continue in-person dining. That includes House of Juju in Old Town Clovis.

Owner Julie Glenn sent us a statement, saying in part, "It's business as usual for us until there is data to prove we are the cause of a spread."

She adds she's asked county health officials for this data, but it hasn't been provided to her.

Up the street, Gentry Salon is left with no choice, but to cancel all appointments.

"Unfortunately, because I am a state license, the state is hanging that over our head," said owner Bee Gentry.

Gentry employs 10 stylists at her 14-chair salon, all of which will go without a job for at least the next three weeks.

"We are just backed into a really tough corner and we have received zero help from the government through this process," she said.

When it comes to retail stores, capacity must not exceed 20%. This could mean the return of long lines.

Some businesses such as Marshalls have already put out signs informing customers that no more than 75 people will be allowed inside at the same time.

The state wants local authorities to enforce the new order, and he said funding may be withheld from those that don't.

Still, many local leaders across the Valley have said they will not actively look for violations.
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