Local Barber Shops Forced to Shut Down During COVID-19 Crisis
MUSCOGEE COUNTY SALONS AND BARBER SHOPS, LIKE SUPER KUTZ, CLOSED TILL AT LEAST APRIL 30, 2020
Barbershops and salons across the country, including Georgia and Alabama, have been forced to shut it’s doors due to COVID-19. A source of income that is gone when rent is still due.
“You can make a lot of money cutting hair. Cutting hair is a very, very well paid profession,” said Super Kutz Master Barber/Owner Jason Smith. With all of these restrictions on it, it’s like everything is declining.”
Restaurants and salons were hit first and the hardest once Coronavirus restrictions were ordered, which made it tough for new businesses like Super Kutz.
“We just opened up what, six months ago,” said Super Kutz Owner Ervin Cohen. “We just started and we have another location, that we was in the middle of opening up another location, and boom all of this happened.”
Barber shops were closed in order to practice social distancing and prevent contamination. That includes cutting hair at a client’s house.
“That’s not really me being quarantined. Me going into someone else’s house because I don’t know what’s going on in your house,” said Smith. “I don’t want to take anything back to my house.”
For Smith, cutting hair helped him shift back into society after being released from prison many years ago.
“All I know is cut hair. I got into this profession to become a better guy. I mean, I’m so good getting clientele and so long. When someone tells you, ‘you can’t do it anymore,’ it’s just like putting you back in prison, saying you can’t do it.”
Columbus Mayor Skip Henderson on Tuesday extended his declaration of local emergency through April 30, 2020. That’s at least another month without income for Muscogee County barbers and salons.
“It’s going to get better, but we just don’t know when, and we encourage people to do what they say,” said Smith. “If you keep going on doing what you want to do, businesses are going to get hard for people like us and the ones out their suffering.”
For small businesses seeking financial assistance due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they can apply for a loan that could be forgiven at covid19relief.sba.gov.
In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small business owners in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories are eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000.
The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. The loan advance will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Funds will be made available within three days of a successful application, and this loan advance will not have to be repaid.