BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – As the sun beats down on Bakersfield, most people are staying home to escape the intense heat. However, some local business owners are stuck, spending thousands to remain open.
“It’s very hard,” said Kevin Nguyen, owner of Crown Royal Nail Lounge.
Due to the pandemic, Nguyen had to shut down two of his salons. Now he is paying a small fortune to keep customers cool at his Stockdale location.
“I would say with labor, material, and everything I have spent roughly 15,000 dollars,” said Nguyen.
The longtime contractor converted his back parking lot into a fully operational business, using stadium-size air conditioning units, dozens of misters, and insulation.
“I’m happy people are safe, but it’s hard to any make money during this,” said Nguyen.
Michael Earhart, the owner of Wiki’s Wine Dive & Grill, says the heatwave is burning away potential business.
“You know when you’re hitting 109 degrees; it’s pretty tough to come out and eat,” said Earhart.
He, too, has spent thousands on keeping the doors open.
“You try and adjust everything you’re doing to fit financially,” said Earhart. “Then, when this happens, it’s just another change and a whole new thing that you have to deal with.”
He described this recent stretch as yet another gut punch in a year that won’t let up.
“It’s not only a gut punch,” said Earhart. “Sometimes, you feel like you get back up and hit again; I’ll be happy when 2020 is over.”
Despite the added costs, both men are committed to staying open and serving their customers.