Local businesses prepare to reopen, but some owners fear they won’t survive

Local News

FRESNO, California (KGPE) — Governor Gavin Newsom has lifted the stay-at-home order for all of California’s regions.

The lift means that outdoor dining can resume and limited capacity is allowed at personal care services like nail and hair salons in all Central Valley counties.

Maggie Bryan, Owner of El Shaddia in Fresno said the opening gives her hope in one of the darkest times of her life.

“I feel like 29-years have been ripped away and this year there is no way that it will be replaced,” said Bryan.

Bryan fell into a depression during the order especially since she has seven children to feed and two looming rent payments each month.

She worries that if her business is shut down again, it won’t make it.

“I’m a person that doesn’t give up but at this time, at this point, my hands are tied,” said Bryan.

Bryan is one of many local business owners hit hard financially by COVID-19 restrictions.

Max’s Bistro & Bar Owner JJ Wettstead said each day when there was only takeout and delivery, he lost money.

“It was very traumatic,” said Wettstead. “It has been very much so a roller coaster ride this whole year,” Wettstead said.

It has been two months since the stay-at-home order was implemented. Owners are asking for patience from customers in the next week as they prepare to reopen by buying tents, heaters, and food.

“It is going to take me three or four days,” said Wettstead. “It doesn’t just change on a dime for us.”

Over at Hungry Hair phones have been ringing off the hook as people book appointments, but employees fear what is to come with a high number of COVID cases locally.

“We don’t know if we are going to be open,” said Manager Kayla Sheesley. “We don’t know if we are going to be closing. So we have had to live with that adjustment. That is what is frustrating at times.”

Even with the unknown, for the first time in a long time, Bryan smiled at the thought of getting back to what she loves.

“I am going to enjoy it everyday and continue to work hard,” said Bryan. “And strive for the better.”

Businesses will be at limited capacity, which owners say they won’t be able to sustain forever without financial air or fewer restrictions.

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