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San Antonio businesses fear another shutdown due to coronavirus surge

“We’re going to find a way to win and get through this. That’s our mentality here, and that’s what we’re going to stick to."

SAN ANTONIO — Some San Antonio businesses are concerned they could be shut down once again amid the ongoing surge in local coronavirus cases. 

This worry is partially a reaction to California Gov. Gavin Newsom's order Monday to close indoor operations at hair salons, gyms and restaurant dine-in services, among other businesses.

The California government's rollback of reopening efforts amid the pandemic applies primarily to counties in the central part of the state.

Jesse Ochoa, who opened a barbershop on San Antonio's northwest side eight years ago, says she's not experiencing as much foot traffic these days. It's really just Ochoa and her service animals occupying the shop as of late. 

“If we had to shut down again, there’s no telling if I’d be able to stay in business," she said. 

The absence of regular clients has taken a toll on business at Faded: The Barbershop. This comes after a few months of mandatory shutdown or limited operation as the novel coronavirus swept through Texas, resulting in halted commerce and some businesses closing for good.

“The first three months really took me back financially," Ochoa said. 

She said the negative dollars signs, combined with uptick of coronavirus cases, doesn't bode well for her business's future. 

Ochoa noted she's struggling to receive monetary assistance from the government. 

“I’ve applied for the small business loan and they ran out of money. I still haven’t received the stimulus checks," Ochoa said. 

As for Michah Lajeunesse, who operates and owns two Anytime Fitness centers, the financial situation isn't as detrimental as it is for others. But he's not ignoring the fact there's fewer people coming in to work out. 

“Our usage has been down quite a bit," Lajeunesse said. 

While the pandemic is weighing down on clients, he remains confident his gyms will bounce in the event of a second shutdown. 

“We’re going to find a way to win and get through this. That’s our mentality here, and that’s what we’re going to stick to," he said.

Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff asked the Bexar County sheriff this week to stop the warnings and to start citing businesses that aren't following the rules.

Wolff said that, so far, 62 businesses have been cited for failing to put up mask requirement notices. 

Ultimately, he stressed the importance of the community working together to curb the pandemic. 

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