'They can take me away': Bay Area salon refuses to close – SF Gate

Salon Blu, San Jose, California.
A San Jose salon owner is refusing to comply with Santa Clara County’s health order and keeping his doors open to customers despite risk of citation or worse, reports NBC Bay Area.
“I refuse to close,” James Griffiths, the owner of Salon Blu, told NBC. “If they’re not having a real shutdown, I’m talking about the grimy little liquor store down here, the gas station, Home Depot, Starbucks, if they don’t shut them down then I’m not shutting down.”
This isn’t the first time Griffiths has defied shutdown mandates during the COVID-19 pandemic. In July, authorities forced him to close and gave him a warning. Griffiths told NBC he knows that could happen again, but he’ll carry on cutting hair regardless.
“I don’t care, they can fine me. They can take me away. It costs more to be shut down,” Griffiths said.
Santa Clara County’s most recent health order states that all personal care services, including salons, are prohibited from providing any services, either indoors or outdoors, between Dec. 6 and Jan. 4.
Standoff: #SJ hair #salon owner goes public with reopening of shop defying #SantaClaraCo #PublicHealth order calling it unfair. Public Health Dept says it counts on everyone to cooperate during #pandemic but businesses face fines/ enforcement action for not complying. pic.twitter.com/L6J95QJKUZ
Salon Blu isn’t the first Bay Area business to defy the most recent shutdown. Two eateries in Danville, Crumbs Restaurant and Incontro Ristorante, said they would refuse to halt outdoor dining following the mandate in early December, stating that it has not been proven that outdoor dining has caused an influx of COVID cases.
When asked in a press conference in early December if outdoor dining contributes to the spread of COVID-19, Gov. Gavin Newsom declined to cite specific evidence.
The latest shutdown has presented an existential threat to many Bay Area small businesses that barely survived the first shutdown in March.
“These are family businesses, these are moms and dads, brothers and sisters,” Rory Cox, the founder of the San Francisco Small Business Alliance, told SFGATE earlier this month. “I feel firmly we’re the backbone of the city. And they’re destroying us, they’re ripping us apart, they’re tearing out the heart and soul of the city.”
On Tuesday, San Francisco’s top health official, Dr. Grant Colfax, estimated that the new lockdown has already saved 330 lives.
SFGATE Local Editor Andrew Chamings was formerly Senior Editor at The Bold Italic and has written for The Atlantic, Vice and McSweeney’s. 


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