Parlier businesses start opening after city declares all businesses 'essential'

The city's mayor said the city would be turning its back on struggling businesses if they told them they can't reopen.
PARLIER, Calif. (KFSN) -- Stage 2 of California's gradual approach to reopening businesses started on Friday.

But in the Fresno County city of Parlier, that process is happening at a much faster pace.

The city has a message for its businesses: If you want to reopen, we're not going to stop you.

That information was first relayed to hair salons and barbershops, like Phat Bobby's Cuts, which reopened on Monday morning.

Other businesses soon followed suit, like Delia's Fashions, which had closed in March due to the Governor's stay-at-home order.

"That was very, very hard for us being home. And you know all the bills and rent. Rent's expensive here," says Delia Pacheco.

Parlier Mayor Alma Beltran says the city never took action to close businesses, so they won't try to stop them from reopening now.

She feels the city would be turning its back on struggling businesses if they told them they can't reopen.

"This is their livelihood, that's how they survive, putting food on the table. We always talk about children that go to sleep hungry. Why are we going to be the cause? Why are we going to be the ones to cause the hunger on our children?" she says.

Beltran doesn't expect county, state, or federal authorities to shut down businesses in the city.

And even though she's giving stores the green light, she stresses that they will be monitored.

"We are going to be vigilant over these businesses. We're not going to just ignore that they are out there. We're going to make sure that they follow and comply with guidelines," she says.

At Delia's, workers are wearing masks and gloves.

And they're limiting the number of customers to five.

Pacheco says business has been slow, but she's grateful to at least be open again, thanks to Mayor Beltran and other city officials.

"I'm very very glad, very very happy. Thank God she is helping us," she says.

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