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AUBURN, Calif. (KTXL) — Hair salons and barbershops across the state have been closed since March under the state’s stay-at-home order.

After more than a month without income, two business owners in Auburn have decided to defy that order and reopen their doors to customers anyway. 

For Clip Cage owner Breann Curtis, it was either defy the state’s stay-at-home order or face collections.

“I have to do what I have to do. I’m fighting to provide for my children and myself and my family right now,” explained Curtis.

After losing thousands of dollars, Curtis told FOX40 that it was time to take a chance and reopen.

“It’s been very hard. I’m pregnant. I have children at home,” said Curtis.

Closing shop in March meant she could no longer work to support her family, missing out on thousands of dollars in lost income.

She’s not the only salon owner who reached their breaking point.

Tisha Fernhoff runs the Beauty Bar Salon in the same Auburn shopping complex and also made the call to open her doors.

“How much longer am I supposed to go down the rabbit hole before I just throw in the towel and go back to work?” Fernhoff told FOX40.

Fernhoff and Curtis are stepping up their sanitation practices to keep customers safe, wiping down chairs in-between clients, disinfecting materials and providing hand sanitizer to anyone walking in the door.

On her first day back open, Curtis said she did 20 haircuts and the appointments keep coming in. 

“My husband has been searching for a place to get his hair cut and he said, ‘I know this lady you got to go now,’” said customer Grace Ferolino.

Curtis said she worries about the penalty for opening shop before the stay-at-home order is lifted but said business owners like her are simply out of options. She said she hopes state leaders will understand they are just trying to survive.

“They need to do something. They need to help us to open up. People are losing their salons. People are losing their barbershops. People are losing their business. That’s going to affect the economy, hugely,” said Curtis.

Both owners told FOX40 they don’t qualify for unemployment and were denied applications for the Paycheck Protection Program. 

According to California’s Employment Development Department, independent contractors and the self-employed can apply for funds through the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program beginning April 28. 

The retroactive payments are expected to go out as early as April 30. 

Click or tap HERE for more information from California Labor Secretary Julie Su.