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Santa Barbara County re-opens personal care services

Posted at 7:20 PM, Jun 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-27 00:34:36-04

Small business owners in Santa Barbara County are able to re-open personal care services once again after being closed for about three months.

The unexpected announcement was made Thursday.

This decision comes just after the county reported last week they were not going to allow businesses to open their doors to the public.

Business owners say they we're excited to see their customers again.

"It's exciting! It's almost like right when you get out of school and you get to start to get all excited. It just feels that way," said InSPArations Salon owner Sheila Gibilisco.

Owners were just waiting for that face-to-face interaction with their customers again.

"We are really excited to be back in the business. We miss our job and we miss our customers," said Binh Lee, owner of Happy Toe Nails in Santa Maria.

Even after the State of California approved the re-opening of personal care services on June 19, the county waited longer because of the spike in COVID-19 cases.

"I thought it was only going to be a couple of weeks and then it turns out it was months," said Gibilisco.

Binh Le used the extra time to add new safety equipment around his salon.

"At the stations, we have face shields to make sure it's safe," he said.

Some business owners say they're seeing a lot of demand for their services.

"Even while we were closed, we've been getting phone calls and we've been getting a lot of calls today too," said Gibilisco.

Some even had to stop taking reservations because they were understaffed.

"Our staff is still out of town, they're not back yet so we let the customers know. So hopefully in a week or two we will start taking appointments again," said Le.

In the end, customers are just happy to be able to get back to that feeling of normality.

"It feels great, it feels safe. They're doing a lot to protect us and sanitize us. We feel very comfortable and it feels great to be back," said Shawna Pierce.

The county says businesses will continue to stay open through July 26.

After that, they will decide whether businesses can continue to operate.