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Running a barber shop during a global pandemic
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By Joseph Rios

*Back to business III of VI8

Luis Torres has spent the majority of his time over the past two years at Print Barbershop — located in Arvada at 7674 Grandview Ave. Torres, owner of the barber shop, had to change his daily routine and the life he has known when COVID-19 swept the world and forced Print Barbershop to close for nearly two months along with other non-essential businesses in the state.

Colorado instituted a stay-at-home order in March that forced non-essential businesses to temporarily close. On May 8, Jefferson County, where Print Barbershop is located, lifted its stay-at-home order, paving the way for Torres to reopen his business.

He said when he received news that the state was forcing him to close, he had a few emotions going through his head. He knew the decision to close non-essential businesses was right, because it is what would keep everyone safe during a very uncertain time, Torres said.

“We didn’t know much about the virus, and I believe that the majority of us may have been in a little bit of fear, so I can’t say that all of us were in disagreement with the decision. My other feeling was nervousness,” said Torres. “We knew we were going to be closed for a month — but there was a feeling that (the stay-at-home order) would be extended either way. I was thinking a ton about the other barbers from the shop.”

There are four barbers other than Torres that work at Print Barbershop, and to support them during the stay-at-home order, Torres sold T-shirts. He gave the profit he made from the T-shirts to his employees.

“We all have our families and our lives outside of the barber shop. So, there was a little bit of anxiousness just hoping that everyone would weather the storm,” said Torres.

Torres said the most difficult part about operating since the stay-at-home order was lifted is dealing with guidelines imposed by the state to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Print Barbershop’s employees are required to wear masks throughout the day and are not allowed to have any customers wait in its waiting area. Instead, Torres set up seating outside the barber shop. Additionally, Print Barbershop can only provide service by appointment only.

Torres said it is understandable that the state is requiring him and his employees to wear masks and admitted it gets hot wearing face coverings throughout the day.

“We really can’t complain at all, though. I’m happy to be able to have the shop open and operating,” said Torres. “Everyone is cutting full-time again and accommodating the neighborhood with some haircuts.”

Since it re-opened again, Print Barbershop has been busy, and Torres said business has been great. He said the only thing he has noticed between now and before the pandemic is that customers aren’t coming in as frequently. Torres said he is sure there are many people who still don’t feel comfortable going out yet, but he understands those who are being precautious.

“The amount of people we see per day is slightly lower than before the pandemic because we have to clean and disinfect a little more than usual. But like I said, it has been awesome to be back, and I find it very difficult to complain being on the other side of this,” said Torres.





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