They’re actively defying the governor’s order – not because they say it’s about business – but because they say this business is so personal.
“They closed us for three months--we’re like, 'OK, sure, great.' We’re all for the safety of our people, but barbershops and salons are much safer than any other industry out there,” says Steve Kharazian, owner of Fades and Blades Barbershop in Burbank.
Kharazian, however, says shutting down again is out of the question.
He adds, "I say, 'No, we are not!'"
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On social media, the barbershop owner stated, “Everyone can protest? I’m going to protest, too, now. Barber lives matter. We are going to stay open."
Kharazian took social media blasting Gov. Gavin Newsom for the new order that came down Monday, and dozens of barbers across Southern California have jumped on board defying the order, they say, for the sake of their families.
“All my employees--everyone has families, kids--everyone trying to make a living just to make ends meet," Kharazian said.
Businesses across the area are feeling the added pinch with the pandemic and spike in COVID-19 cases forcing a rollback of places that had already reopened.
“I’m trying my very best to keep it open because this is four generations of family," says Debbie Briano of El Rancho Grande.
At Olvera Street, vendors just reopened a few weeks ago and are again uncertain with what the future holds.
Barbers argue the safety measures they’ve already taken should suffice – temperatures taken at the door; sanitizing; sterilizing and scrutinizing their own efforts to keep customers safe.
Tuesday, customers in the barbershop were also openly defying the order by coming in for a fade.
“To be honest with you, this is something I’ve already planned for," Shawn Spencer, a customer, said. "I believe the safety of this shop is ensured. They take the proper protocols, and I trust these guys."
kharazian says, “For them telling us to shut down is ridiculous. You have Costco, you have Walmart open, people touching everything, and you don’t know if they have anything."
The governor warned he has a seven-agency task force that will go after places that defy his orders. Kharazian says he’s willing to fight the fight, worried state leaders are leading businesses to slaughter.
Kharazian added, “It doesn’t matter if you’re a Republican or Democrat--everyone is hurting right now."