header image

[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Santa Clarita CA
Mostly sunny
Mostly sunny
Today in
S.C.V. History
October 20
1873 - Santa Barbara lawyers Charles Fernald and J.T. Richards purchase Rancho San Francisco (75 square miles of SCV) for $33,000, or 69 cents an acre, in a sheriff's sale [story]
souvenir title report

| Thursday, May 7, 2020
Valencia Acura Prepares to Reopen
Maintenance worker Rene Martinez sprays BioPledge AntiMicrobial Protection spray on the interior of a car at Valencia Acura on Wednesday. Dan Watson/The Signal


As the state and county continue to announce plans to ease stay-at-home restrictions, allowing some businesses to reopen as early as Friday, many of the businesses here in the Santa Clarita Valley have begun their preparations.

While West Coast Music Academy has been able to remain open for business through the quarantine by offering virtual classes, owner Jeff Novack says his staff has been in talks regarding how to begin safely offering in-person lessons when the time comes.

“What we’re planning on doing is we’re going to let the parents know that we’re going to open in phases,” Novack said, “so we might not have everybody at the school at once. We might gradually have a few teachers and then add a few more in. And, we’re still going to give them the option of doing the online lessons if they are more comfortable doing that.”

Novack said they also plan on following the Centers for Disease Control’s health guidelines, as cleaning and sanitation are a priority for a business such as theirs that uses shared equipment.

The staff will be tasked with cleaning highly touched surfaces and equipment in between lessons, while a third-party cleaning crew will be coming in weekly to do a deep sanitization, Novack said.

“We’re going to be outfitting all the staff with face masks, and we have infrared thermometers so we can take everyone’s temperature when they show up,” he added.

In addition, they plan on only allowing student drop-offs and removing all the chairs from their lobby to allow for physical distancing.

Greg Pinker, co-owner of Voodoo Vinyl in Newhall, closed his shop a few days before Gov. Gavin Newsom issued the statewide order closing nonessential businesses.

“We didn’t feel that we were being responsible by having people in the store and possibly getting them sick, so we closed a little bit earlier,” Pinker said.

Though they’ve tried to do some online sales, that hasn’t been going very well, according to Pinker. “Records tend to be something that people want to hold and look at.”

Even so, they are starting to prepare for some semblance of a reopening.

“(We’re) starting to catalogue our records, so we can at least get what we don’t already have up online and we’re ready,” Pinker added. “So, we hope to have some ability to do this a little bit more proactively online and have the curbside (pickup).”

Still, Pinker’s business, like many others that reside on Main Street in Newhall, rely on foot traffic.

“All of the restaurants bring in the foot traffic, all the events that happen, (and) without those, that’s definitely going to impact us,” he said.

Though employees at Graymar Heating & Air Conditioning are often working in homes or businesses, the only significant change they’ve seen is the implementation of wearing masks and gloves everywhere they go, according to owner Justin Siegen.

“As far as our industry goes, not really much has changed,” Siegen added. “(Our) equipment is all machine manufactured and everything usually comes pre-sealed or wrapped.”

Still, employees are instructed to keep their own health and safety a priority.

“When we go into somebody’s house, we’re wearing gloves and masks, (and) we expect the same from them,” Siegen said.

Corporate employees at Beverly Hills Teddy Bear, a Newhall toy manufacturer that specializes in custom toys, gifts and plush, have been working remotely and plan on continuing to do so for however long is necessary.

“It’s actually worked out OK,” CEO David Socha said. “If business was better, it would have been fine, but business is rough. There’s no doubt about it.”

He, like many other retailers, hope that business will begin to pick up again as restrictions are lifted. “People need to go into stores and shop because there’s a lot of retailers on the brink of closing.”

With schools remaining shut for the time being, Socha expects to continue working with his employees to figure out when they’ll be able to return to work.

When they do choose to bring their employees back to the office, things will be different, and like most workplaces, sanitization will be a top priority, according to Socha.

“There is no real normal anymore,” he said. “Normal is maybe that (the office) is open, but I’m a germophobe, so it’s going to be full-fledged masks, gloves if they need it, lots of sanitizer around.”

Other Santa Clarita-based manufacturers, like Shimtech Industries, an aerospace components manufacturer, were deemed essential and able to remain open, though significant changes were made, as employees are often working in close quarters.

“We put a really big emphasis on hygiene, and I think this is true of every business,” CEO Brian Williams said during a webinar hosted by the SCV Chamber of Commerce and SCV Economic Development Corp. Wednesday. “In our case, we have a lot of machines that are making these parts, so we physically moved all the machines to create more spacing.”

Shimtech employees who can work remotely are doing so, while those required to come in have been split into three shifts and given staggered breaks and meals to reduce crowding.

While Santa Clarita-based Bocchi Laboratories, a personal care products manufacturer, had its product volume dropped by 60% overnight, they were fortunate to have an alcohol supply for a product that allowed them to pivot their assembly lines into manufacturing much-needed hand sanitizer.

“Our goal from the very beginning was to provide employees with a safer work environment than what they find outside the plant,” Bocchi Labs President Joe Pender said during the webinar.

That being said, they, too, have implemented much of the typical workplace changes, such as requiring temperature checks and altering shift times, but they have even gone as far as installing physical barriers between employees, according to Pender.

Valencia Acura co-owners Don and Cheri Fleming are excited about being able to bring back the second half of their team.

“I think we have sort of felt like we’ve had one leg chopped off by being able to have service open and not really have sales open,” Cheri Fleming said. “I look forward to calling a few of my salesmen who we unfortunately had to let go because they could not be doing sales as usual, but I know they want to come back to work, and I think we’re ready.”

That being said, they’ve utilized the closure as time to plan for their reopening. The dealership has undergone a deep cleaning, they’ve purchased new cleaning equipment for the cars, rearranged furniture to allow for physical distancing and employees have implemented public health guidelines.

“We have great new habits, and I think we will be making our customers feel very safe and secure,” Cheri added.

Signal Staff Writer Tammy Murga contributed to this report.

Valencia Acura Prepares to Reopen

Maintenance workers Eugenio Ramirez, left, and Leonel Guerra clean the showroom at Valencia Acura on Wednesday. Dan Watson/The Signal

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.


You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1873 - Santa Barbara lawyers Charles Fernald and J.T. Richards purchase Rancho San Francisco (75 square miles of SCV) for $33,000, or 69 cents an acre, in a sheriff's sale [story]
souvenir title report
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health on Monday confirmed 1 new death and 923 new positive cases of COVID-19, as the Santa Clarita Valley counts 6,782 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 70 deaths from the virus since the World Health Organization declared the pandemic on March 11.
Monday COVID-19 Roundup: Nearly 300K Cases in L.A. County, 6,782 in SCV So Far
The Santa Clarita Valley YMCA will host a UCLA Health blood drive at 26147 McBean Parkway in Valencia on Tuesday from noon to 5 p.m.
Oct. 20: YMCA to Host UCLA Blood Drive in Valencia
Festival of Trees, Santa Clarita’s premier kickoff to the holiday season and annual benefit for the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley, will continue in person and online this year from November 18-24.
Nov. 18-24: Festival of Trees, Lights Gala to Benefit SCV Boys & Girls Club
SCV school districts have prepared the necessary paperwork to submit in-school waivers, which would allow lower grade levels to return to campus, but the higher grade levels will have to wait for the county to allow it.
SCV School Districts Cannot Fully Open Until County Gives OK
Governor Gavin Newsom Monday named a group of nationally acclaimed California physician-scientists with expertise in immunization and public health to the state’s COVID-19 Scientific Safety Review Workgroup.
Scientific Safety Review Workgroup to Advise State on COVID-19 Vaccines
Los Angeles County has extended its Great Plates Delivered program for seniors and qualified older residents through Sunday, November 8.
L.A. County Extends ‘Great Plates’ Meals Delivery to Seniors to Nov. 8
Ten productions are filming in the Santa Clarita Valley the week of October 19-25, according to the city of Santa Clarita's Film Office.
Cameras Rolling on Ten Productions in SCV This Week
From packaging to logistics, a group of Global Prep Academy students set up a zero-cost, pandemic relief supply operation for homeless individuals and low-income families in the Santa Clarita Valley.
SCV Teens Provide Pandemic Relief Supplies to Low-Income, Homeless Residents
The city of Santa Clarita has been awarded the prestigious 25th Annual Achievement of Excellence in Procurement for 2020 from the National Procurement Institute Inc.
Santa Clarita Wins Award for Excellence in Procurement
To reduce teen distracted driving, the California Highway Patrol has partnered with Impact Teen Drivers to teach positive habits and behaviors to our most vulnerable drivers through education and enforcement.
CHP to Focus on Reducing Teen Distracted Driving
After 47 years in business, Maria’s Italian Deli in Newhall closed its doors under the operation of its second owners, but Maria Simione, who opened the business and still owns the property, said Saturday she’s hopeful for a new chapter.
Maria’s Italian Deli Closes but Maria Hopes for New Chapter
The city of Santa Clarita received the District Transparency Certificate of Excellence by the Special District Leadership Foundation (SDLF) in recognition of its outstanding efforts to promote transparency and good governance
Santa Clarita Awarded Transparency Certificate of Excellence
1945 - Acton Hotel, est. 1890, burns down; arson is suspected [story]
Acton hotel fire
1876 - Southern Pacific begins subdividing town of Newhall (original location at Bouquet Junction) [story]
Campton store
1837 - Trapper Peter LaBeck killed by grizzly bear at El Tejon [story]
Peter LaBeck
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health encourages residents to get flu immunization as soon as possible, especially this year.
Get Flu Immunization Now, L.A. County Public Health Urges Residents
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health on Friday confirmed 27 new deaths and 1,072 new positive cases of COVID-19, including 41 new cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Friday COVID-19 Roundup: Total 287K Cases in L.A. County, 6,734 in SCV
Governor Gavin Newsom announced Friday afternoon that the president has approved California’s request for a Major Disaster Declaration to bolster the state’s emergency response to wildfires across the state.
California Secures Presidential Major Disaster Declaration on Wildfires
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department detectives are seeking the public's help to identify an unmasked alleged criminal threats suspect accused of pulling a knife on a liquor store clerk.
Detectives Seek ID of Unmasked Criminal Threats Suspect
This year, October 11-17 marks National Veterinary Technician Week where we celebrate the critical and lifesaving work performed by our veterinary technicians.
L.A. County Animal Care Celebrates Veterinary Technicians
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will present its 6th annual and first virtual Careers in Film Summit on Saturday, October 24 and Saturday, October 31.
Academy Offers 2-Day Virtual ‘Careers in Film Summit’ for Students
Following a legal demand from California officials, the state Republican Party said Friday it has agreed to remove unofficial drop boxes.
California GOP Agrees to Remove Unofficial Ballot Drop Boxes. Or Did They?
After two years of planning, the city of Santa Clarita unveiled “California Scape,” the latest public art project, Thursday at Fair Oaks Park in Canyon Country.
Santa Clarita Unveils Latest Public Art Project
%d bloggers like this: