New 'regional stay-at-home' order to hit local businesses during their busiest time in the year

CLOVIS, Calif. (KFSN) -- At LaVogue Beauty Shoppe in the Tower District, hairstylists were just starting to get back on their feet after the first extended COVID closure.

"I think a lot of people assumed that we'd be ok and we struggled quite a bit because gift cards only help so much. When it's time for a customer to cash that in, we kind of fall back on that," says hairstylist Jackelyn Madrigal.

The salon is all decked out for Christmas and for many hairstylists, the holidays usher in the busiest time of the year because people want to look good for gatherings or family photos.

But many photo-ops and family gatherings won't be happening now this holiday season. The governor is also banning all non-essential travel statewide as cases spike.

The 10 pm curfew in effect along with the closure of bars and nightclubs has cut business at Richie's Pizza in Fresno by 80%.

"You'd have 40 to 50 people out here every night, you know, that's our business. It's a big impact. We aren't as big daytime as much as we were nighttime," says Danny Goldstein with the pizzeria.

Neither Jackelyn nor the owners of Richie's Pizza received any pandemic business assistance during the first shutdown.

But Thursday, Governor Newsom said that this time around, the state is offering additional grants, loans, and tax credits to help more businesses impacted by the closures.

"We are just getting started in terms of business relief and business support. We are looking across sectors, particularly those who are being disproportionately impacted by this 'stay at home order' and by subsequent tiered guidelines," he said.

Some business owners worry any government assistance won't be timely enough to help pay the bills that are piling up.

Clovis Mayor Drew Bessinger has heard countless stories of their struggles.

"So they had a choice to either violate the law and conduct their business that they could normally conduct legally or go under and some of them have done work behind the scenes. Our attitude towards it is if they do it safely and reasonably, we're not going to fault them," he says.

The new order allows no dining at restaurants at all- even outside. Take-out is the only option for at least 21 days.

Several local elected officials and restaurant owners say this next shutdown could cause up to half of them to close for good.
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