small businesses

Oceanside Business Owners Worry About County Moving to Restrictive Tier

Business owners fear that due to the rising number of cases at San Diego State University, the county will move into a more restrictive color tier come Tuesday

NBC Universal, Inc.

San Diego County may be headed into the state's most restrictive reopening colored tier. This follows Governor Gavin Newsom's rejection of San Diego County's request to have San Diego State University's COVID-19 numbers removed from the overall case rate total.

Business owners far from SDSU worry that businesses already on the brink of closures could lose it all due to the university's growing numbers.

"Every time we seem to open up, something happens and we shut back down again," said Juan Velasco.

Velasco and his wife Anastasia own Slight Edge hair salon and they're frustrated that adding more restrictions to their salon and closing down other businesses is the solution to the increased case rate. Velasco suggests SDSU order a quarantine for students.

"If you think about it, they could probably isolate more than everybody else," said Velasco.

While the hair salon has been back open for a couple of weeks since the county was moved to the red-colored tier and under the purple tier hair salons are still allowed to operate under stricter measures, they worry the state may change their mind.

"There's no warning, they change decisions like you and I change thoughts, which is frustrating and means we can't prepare everything," said Velasco.

On Roymar Road the owner of Tap That Draft beer services and taproom agrees the restrictions are not benefiting any industry.

"I mean we're 30 miles from SDSU, so I don't see what the rate on campus at San Diego State has to do with us in Oceanside," said owner Travis Esquibel.

For the last six months, Esquibel's taproom has been closed down.

"Either we try and survive with the little business we can get or we fold and go under," said Esquibel.

He's relying on customers buying products to go and office keg deliveries but, that's still not enough.

"We're all taking precautions and trying to do things right, but at the same time we're struggling, we need business," he said. "I have kids at home, my employees have families as well and we're all struggling and we just need some sort of guidance, some hope."

Esquibel said he just wants an opportunity for pubs like his to reopen under strict guidance.

"I'm positive this will turn around and we'll be able to celebrate our eight-year anniversary next year," said Esquibel.

The Oceanside Chamber of Commerce and the city are awarding grants to small businesses in need.

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