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Santa Maria businesses prepare to move outdoors again

Posted at 7:26 PM, Nov 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-18 00:00:13-05

With Central Coast counties moving back into a more restrictive tier after a COVID-19 spike, some businesses have to prepare to make a switch once again.

The steps backward into a more restrictive tier came as a surprise to Santa Barbara county businesses. Now fitness centers like CRUNCH have to move outside to keep their doors open.

"It is pretty frustrating because the members need it. I mean, all of us are looking forward to coming in and work out and release some of the stress," said owner Arturo Quezada.

The change from the red to purple tier means that businesses like gyms, restaurants, and places of worship will be required to move outdoors.

What originally would be three days of notice was just 24 hours and now CRUNCH Fitness says it's working with the city to move its equipment outside.

"We are talking about moving our equipment outside in the parking structure in the second floor, that way the members can still continue to come in and work out and release some of that anxiety and stress that they have,” Quezada said.

Although this idea is still in the planning stages and not official just yet, Liza Porras says finding ways to keep the doors open is important for one's mental health, especially during these times.

"Being at home all day when we were closed, it's draining. I mean, you know that you got to do laundry, that you have to cook all day, teaching your kids all day, but still for yourself when you are so used to working out, having something challenging you to get depressed sitting on the couch. You're like, OK what do I do next?" Porras said.

It's a lot of uncertainty moving forward and then back again, but Quezada says businesses have to roll with the punches to stay afloat.

"Right now I just got to worry about us doing whatever is necessary to stay in business and keep growing our member base,” Quezada said.

The Santa Maria Town Center Mall will remain open with modifications at 25 percent capacity. Businesses like retail and personal care services located inside the mall will still be able to operate indoors.