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San Mateo County Business Owners Fear New Shutdown as Coronavirus Cases Rise

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REDWOOD CITY (KPIX) — Among Bay Area counties fighting to reopen amid the deepening coronavirus pandemic, San Mateo has been holding steady while others have been sliding backward. That distinction may not last much longer and small business owners can hear the clock ticking.

With coronavirus case numbers pushing the county toward the state watch list, a second shutdown is now looming for salon and gym owners.

“I’ve been checking online and watching the news just to see if we’re going to close or not,” said Georgia Ponce of Eclipz Salon.

Tayor Martin opened the Weight Room gym barely one year ago.

“We’ve only been open since June 19 as of now. I think we’ve got about three weeks under our belt and now it’s looking like we’re going to have to shut down again,” Martin said. “I worked for 10 years so I could establish a business of my own. If someone would have told me there was a national pandemic coming I probably would’ve had second thoughts about taking everything I have and putting it into a business.”

San Mateo County supervisor Dave Canepa thinks the county will land on the watch list by Tuesday. He says the resulting blow to the economy is something they’ll be dealing with longterm.

“The reverberations are serious for all of these workers in the small businesses that are just obliterated,” Canepa said. “It’s the economic piece that really presents us with some extraordinary challenges moving forward.”

Of course, there’s no timetable for how long a second shutdown might last. Also facing closure would be indoor malls and places of worship, something that has proved to be contentious in many other counties.

“I really hope there’s a way that we can allow things to still operate in a safe, healthy environment. I feel like it should be practical,” Martin said

“It was a discouraging week. Because we just went backwards,” Ponce said.

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