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KPBS Midday Edition

New Shutdown Orders Put Otay Mesa Business Owners 'Weeks' From Closing Permanently

Husband and wife Mario Gastelum and Cristina Herrera Gastelum in an undated photo in front of their business, Cristina Herrera Hair Salon in Otay Mesa.
Mario Gastelum
Husband and wife Mario Gastelum and Cristina Herrera Gastelum in an undated photo in front of their business, Cristina Herrera Hair Salon in Otay Mesa.
Mario Gastelum first closed his Otay Mesa business, Cristina Herrera Hair Salon, in March. It reopened this summer and after building the business back up, now it’s closed again as part of the state of California's latest shutdown orders. He estimated he has enough money to keep the business afloat for seven weeks without income.

Newly diagnosed COVID-19 cases in San Diego continue at their highest level since the pandemic began. Nearly 2,000 cases were reported on Monday, with 50 new hospitalizations. It’s these soaring rates of infection that state officials are hoping the new stay-at-home order will help bring down.

RELATED: What The New Stay-At-Home Order Means For San Diego

But the business shutdowns will have consequences of their own as business owners and their employees struggle to stay afloat for at least the next three weeks.

Mario Gastelum is co-owner of Cristina Herrera Hair Salon in Otay Mesa which he opened with his wife in 2019.

"We started slow like any business but we were hitting our stride in March and we got shut down," Gastelum said. "We survived that, barely, I did have to sell a car. But we were hitting our stride again and 'hello,' here we go again."

He estimates he has enough money to keep the business afloat for seven weeks without additional income.

Gastelum has experienced both sides of the pandemic. Some of his family members, including his sister, have come down with the virus.

He joined Midday Edition on Tuesday to talk about his experience as a business owner during the pandemic.