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Small businesses struggle as California imposes new lock-down

California, USSmall businesses in the U.S. state of California are struggling to survive as local authorities imposed new lockdown measures following a surge of COVID-19 cases.

The state of California announced on Monday that indoor activities at restaurants and museums will close statewide, while other indoor operations including barbershops and hair salons in 30 of the 58 counties would be closed as well.

Effective from July 13, all counties must close indoor operations in the sectors including dine-in restaurants, wineries and tasting rooms, movie theaters, card rooms, zoos and museums and family entertainment centers, such as bowling alleys, miniature golf, batting cages and arcades.

The announcement came as many small businesses, especially those worst-hit like restaurants, barbershops and car washing, just reopened after the state government started to ease the stay-at-home order in May.
"The most frightening thing is that the disease is not well controlled and can be combined with other diseases, such as flu, in the second half of this year. That will make it very difficult for the barbershop to survive," said Huang Jing, a local barbershop owner.

"Our concern is basically 'is this going to continue like this?' We will not be able to survive. We are not going to make it. We are not going to make it," said Nizar Jawhari, owner of SHEESH Restaurant.
The state's data monitoring system that was updated on Monday showed that 109,910 new cases and 1,104 deaths have been reported in the past 14 days. Jawhari said few people came to his restaurant as the number of confirmed cases continued to rise. "Basically, the customers, everybody is concerned, everybody is scared no matter how much you comply, how much we have sanitizers on the door, on the table, masks and gloves. People are concerned and scared which is rightly so," he said.

Huang said the control of the pandemic is essential for the state to recover its economy. "Businesses had reopened in California not because the pandemic was well controlled, but because the economy reached the edge of collapse. For the general public, people still feel afraid to go out to eat, get haircuts or anything else," he said.

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