Frustrated business owners, including the woman who owns the salon where House Speaker Nancy Pelosi got her hair done last month, rallied outside Fresno City Hall to demand that they be allowed to reopen.
Erica Kious, owner of the San Francisco salon where Pelosi was caught on camera, was among the group of about 20 speakers who called on local and state officials Monday to allow businesses and restaurants to resume operations because they are suffering severe financial difficulties.
“I don’t consider myself a hero. I’m just a mother with two children trying to support my family,” Kious said, ABC 7 reported. “Being shut down for six months is just too long. We were supposed to open midsummer and a lot of us restaurant workers, salon owners, spent almost the last of our money to reopen our businesses safely and got denied.”
Restaurant owner Lewis Everk was adamant about getting back to business.
“This is not something we’re willing to wait for and here’s another thing, we’re not asking, we’re telling you, we’re opening safely on October 1, thank you very much,” he said.
Allen Mohammadi, who owns a number of coffee shops in the Fresno area, said business owners like him and their workers are desperate.
“Just about everybody is back but they are working one to two days a week. They are on a part-time basis one day a week, eight hours a day. That’s about all we can afford to spare right now,” he said.
Political leaders also offered support.
“When it did come down, when we did flatten the curve, we felt it’s time they needed to go back to work, so I just support moms and dads who have children. A lot of these are small businesses,” said Clovis City Councilmember Vong Mouanoutoua.
Pelosi claimed she was duped by the salon.
“I take responsibility for trusting the word of the neighborhood salon that I’ve been to … many times,” Pelosi said. “It was a setup. I take responsibility for falling for a setup.”
Kious denied that she set up the Democratic leader.
“I’ve had a camera system in there for five years. I mean, I didn’t go in there and turn cameras on as soon as she walked in and set her up. So that is absolutely false,” she said.
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