Bay Area Business Owners Await Shelter-in-Place Order Lift

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The reopening of many businesses in Georgia as well as some in Napa County seems to be causing another wave of pleas by business owners to lift restrictions in their areas as well.

Dave Diggs was forced to close his barber shop on March 16 and he’s excited to see similar businesses opening up in Atlanta, but he asks why not here?

“Besides hospitals, honestly, barber shops are already held to an extremely high standard of sanitation,” said Diggs, owner of Barbers Inc in San Jose.

A timeline of lifting restrictions was the hot topic as San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo and Santa Clara County Board President Cindy Chavez took questions at Friday’s virtual commonwealth club meeting.

Liccardo emphasized it will still, ultimately, be a public health decision but reopening would be in phases. 

“What we’re seeing in Georgia I think is likely going to lead to a spike in contagion,” said Liccardo. “And it won’t stay in Georgia, it will travel to other parts of the country.”

Chavez declined to say what businesses might open first but pointed out her crucial criteria. 

 “We have to make sure that every job that does open up has the ability for social distancing and it operates in a safe way,” she said. “Outside of those in the essential workforce.”

Diggs remains unwavering.

“Nobody can cut your hair six feet away, but if proper PPE is worn, then I think that it will provide not just a false sense of security, but an actual sense of security,” said Diggs.

The public health department will have the final say but South Bay leaders acknowledge the pressure to reopen and keep businesses afloat is building every day.

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