By Kevin Salazar and Jaime Montaño
2020 has been a year that has changed many lives due to the outrageous outbreak of Coronavirus, otherwise known as COVID-19. This pandemic has had a profound impact on just about everyone, and this especially includes local businesses.
Many shops in Tucson have had to shut down due to a lack of customers and economic problems due to this pandemic. This has especially affected smaller, independent businesses that relied on loyal patrons who are staying home, quarantining.
“One way that I have been affected by COVID-19 is that I don’t get as many clients as before,” said Mr. Alberto Salazar, a barber from Tucson. “A lot of these people are afraid of coming into the barbershop to get a haircut and exposing themselves to the virus, although everything is clean. They are just simply afraid to go into a public place where different people come in daily.”
COVID-19 has, in fact, affected barbering so much this past year that many barbershops have closed completely. Many barbers have had to quit their jobs due to little income. Barbers were not able to cut hair from their own home because they would get fined. Some businesses were allowed to open for a short time, but clients had to wear face masks, and barbers could not do their beards. Having facial hair cuts were, for some patrons, part of the process. Many patrons just stopped going to barbers altogether.
Instructor for Fade Master’s Academy, Mr. Memo Kaphan, said, “The whole barber industry is hurting from something we can’t control, and all we can do is promote ourselves through this bad time. When everything is normal again, we will have hopefully experience a major boost in our business.’’
Although businesses are fervid about disinfection, many patrons are still afraid of contracting COVID-19.
“We don’t sell as much [food] anymore,” said Mr. Riodel Salazar, a taco shop owner in Tucson. “The percentage of people who used to come before is very different than now. Not many families are seen, and the sales went down almost by half.”
Tucson, obviously, is not the only American city to have been adversely affected by COVID-19. According to Yelp, more than 163,000 businesses have closed as result of the Coronavirus—nearly 100,000 of them permanently.
“Let’s all hope this ends soon, and we can all go back to our normal everyday lives,” said Salazar.