Image via Facebook Rep. Harley Rouda (D-Calif.)
Image via Facebook

Rep. Harley Rouda (D-CA) recently teamed up with non-profit organization Nailing It for America to discuss how nail salons and other beauty supply shops should approach reopening amidst the coronavirus pandemic. 

According to the Nailing it for America organizers, Rouda is the first elected official to meet with them. 

“Going forward,we’re going to continue to provide support for small businesses. We’re also looking forward to working with you to understand the policy and procedure that you would like to see in place so that you can open up in a safe way.” Rouda said. 

The congressman also acknowledged how difficult it must be for nail salons in particular during this pandemic, due to the high amount of personal contact between technicians and their clients. 

Nailing it for America is made up of Orange County’s nail salon industry leaders who wanted to find a way to give back to those on the frontlines during these unprecedented times. In early April, the group gathered over $3 million worth of personal protective equipment for healthcare workers. 

Most recently, they celebrated their 100th donation event by donating food and PPE to seniors and their caretakers at the Alta Gardens Care Center.

Now they’re seeking for the best way to help small businesses struggling due to COVID-19 reopen their doors, while remaining as safe and responsible as possible. 

“It always pains us to know that all the good work that we do is never enough. That’s why there’s an urgency in our voices and there’s an urgency in our timing,” said organizer Ted Nguyen.  “It’s important that we do everything that we can to provide some level of measured response and the utmost concern, care and passion to our fellow Americans.”

Chrstie Nguyen, who helped open Studio 18 Nail Bar with her parents, explained the effects of the COVID-19 has had on their and other salons in the area. 

“My parents have worked tirelessly my entire life. They’re immigrants from Vietnam and they’ve worked extremely hard to take care of my brother and I,” Christie said. After COVID-19 hit, Studio 18 and other California salons had to close. 

“We’re waiting patiently to reopen,” said Christie, “In this pandemic,our futures are uncertain.” 

In an interview with ABC 7, Rouda said he understood how critical the industry is to his district’s economy, as well as the state and nation. 

“We’re going to continue to work with the governor’s office to find mutually acceptable policies and procedures that allow them to open up in the right time frame, and ultimately that’s going to be the governor’s office decision, but our input on behalf of these businesses and these entrepreneurs, I think is important,” said Rouda.