City to consider $5 million relief fund for gyms, hair salons and other services

With many businesses temporarily closed under the state’s stricter stay-at-home orders, Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia on Monday announced a $5 million relief fund to support barber shops, nail salons and other personal care services, as well as independently owned gyms.

The plans come on the heels of the mayor’s previous announcement of a $5 million “resiliency fund” for struggling restaurants, bars and breweries that have been forced to close outdoor dining under the new health orders.

The total of $10 million would come from future federal stimulus funds and could be increased depending on need and available funding.

“Our personal care service providers do so much to take care of our community and it is important for us to take care of them,” Garcia said in a statement. “These small business owners are our neighbors and they need our support more than ever.”

The proposal is supported by Councilmembers Roberto Uranga, Al Austin and Rex Richardson.

All personal care services, including hair salons, barbershops and tattoo parlors were closed on Sunday after the region’s remaining Intensive Care Unit (ICU) bed capacity dipped below the 15% benchmark. Gyms are still allowed to operate outside, although some fitness centers do not have this option.

The bar and restaurant relief plan will be considered at Tuesday’s regular City Council meeting, while the personal services and fitness proposal will be considered on Dec. 15.

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Kelly Puente is a general assignment and special projects reporter at the Long Beach Post. Her prolific reporting has taken her all over Southern California—even to the small Catalina Island town of Two Harbors. She is a Tiki mug collector and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in public policy and administration at Cal State Long Beach. Reach her at [email protected].