Valley salon owners ready fill their chairs again after moving back into purple tier

Central Valley salon owners are ready to welcome customers back again after weeks of being closed.
FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- Central Valley salon owners are ready to welcome customers back again after weeks of being closed.

The doors are opening for hair salons, and Gov. Gavin Newsom's latest announcement of lifting the regional stay at home orders is good news.

"It's about time. We are so ready to be back at it. We miss all of our clients, and our income and a little sense of normalcy would be so refreshing at this point in the game," said Bree Gentry, owner of Gentry Salon.

She said they were shut down for 16 weeks.

"I read a statistic the other day that one in four salons have permanently closed since COVID hit back in March. Fortunately, thankfully we are still standing, and I don't know how much longer many salons could hang on if we were closed any longer than we have been," Gentry said.

So far, in 2021, they haven't been open one day until now.

Shay Stevenson owns four Sola salons in Fresno and has a fifth under construction. He's been pushing for legislative changes for weeks.

"There's been no data to suggest that there's any link between salons and the spread of COVID," said Stevenson.

He said it had been a struggle during these times.

"We did qualify for the EIDL government assistance, but again those are loans that are going to be paid back with interest, so we 're going further back into the hole with that, but it did help us to get through those times and continue to keep our doors open when we do come back," Stevenson said.

Many salons say they're following strict cleaning procedures to keep everyone safe and business going.

Even with the uncertainty, Sola is looking toward the future. Their Fig Garden salon will open in mid-February.
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