YUBA/SUTTER COUNTIES (CBS13) — A number of businesses in Yuba and Sutter counties are rethinking their reopenings after being contacted by state agencies that could revoke their licenses.
Hairdresser Amy Johnson believes she may be one of the few cosmetologists still working in the surrounding area. Many, including some of her own staff at Rockabetty Salon in Yuba City, are afraid of sanctions the state could impose.
“Everyone is scared to open because of the vague statement and the phone calls from the board,” Johnson said.
CBS13 obtained a copy of that statement, emailed out to licensed cosmetologists in California earlier this week. It reads:
- “The Board of Barbering and Cosmetology acknowledges and is sympathetic to the ever-changing environment that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has created for our licensees. Our role is to ensure the health and safety of California consumers by promoting ethical standards and by enforcing the laws of the barbering and beauty industry. For the safety of our consumers and our licensees, the Board continues to urge licensees to abide by the Governor’s stay at home order. We have heard of businesses disregarding the stay at home orders.
If businesses continue to put public health and safety at risk by not following the state and local shelter in place orders, and if circumstances warrant it, the Board may pursue disciplinary action against their license. This will not be taken lightly. The Board is drafting a Returning to Work Checklist for establishments for when licensees are able to reopen safely. We want to make sure we are able to maintain consumer protection and help guide our licensees when the time is appropriate and directed by the Governor. Again, the Board fully supports the Governor’s stay at home order and we expect our licensees to comply. We thank you for your understanding and patience during this time.”
In a press conference on Friday, Governor Gavin Newsom provided some insight about the steps state agencies have taken to curb open businesses amid the stay-at-home order.
“I just note there’s 33 salons that shut down in two counties in the last couple days similarly because they got a call from some of our state officials saying, “Is this the best thing for your employees? Is this the best thing for public health and your community?” Newsom said.
Johnson got those calls, too, but explained all the steps she was taking to protect her customers and staff.
Her clients must wear masks, disinfect their hands and shoes before entering her salon, answer COVID-19 related questions at the door, sign a waiver and space out once inside. Johnson says she’s operating under local county guidelines, and all of her customers are out within 30 minutes.
“Lots of haircuts and lots of people walking out with wet hair having to come back for a second appointment,” she said. “Our county order is lifted so I feel confident in working.”
Krankin Hanks owner Henry Stuevie feels that confidence, too. But he chose to close his bar down, once Alcohol Beverage Control came knocking.
“Gavin Newsom got mad at Yuba-Sutter so he sent out what he has control over, the liquor license,” Stuevie said. “We were allowing to come in, sit down order dinner, have a beer. Have a drink if you want.”
He was ready to let the liquor flow at his Marysville bar when Yuba and Sutter counties decided to reopen some businesses again at the beginning of the week until ABC came by. He said the conversation was friendly, but the ordinance he was delivered by them had a different tone, calling them disorderly and saying he could lose his liquor license if he continued on.
“Just the threat of taking my liquor license was enough for me to say I can’t lose it,” Stuevie said. “It took me two years to get it, and this would be a useless building without it.”
ABC said they’re still taking the educational approach, but not enforcing yet. Newsom said many of those business owners seem to be cooperating.
“Just those phone calls and number of visits really served the community well,” Newsom said. “Many of those establishments saying ‘I get it, we’re going to shut down.'”
Stuevie still serves his other customers at the restaurant next door, Tracey’s Diner. Customers are spaced out at tables, and he sells what he says he can.
“I can serve you soda, I can serve you water — but I’m not allowed to serve you liquor,” Stuevie said.
Newsom also added the state is eager to open these businesses as fast as possible, but needing to do it safely.