AUSTIN, Texas — Some salons in Austin are already feeling the impact that the coronavirus is making economically.
As restrictions grow stricter, more salons and barbershops are temporarily closing their doors to help prevent the spread of the virus.
"Based on feedback from our members and knowledge of the industry, the impact will be severe, with many of our members at high risk of not being able to hold out financially during the crisis," Steve Sleeper, the executive director of the Professional Beauty Association, told KVUE via email on Monday. "You are talking about some very small businesses and also independent workers who have limited resources so, thus, will be devastating to them."
Sleeper also said that erring on the side of caution and to follow the broad consensus to limit exposure leaves very little room to continue to operate in any sort of effective and safe manner.
"We are working on a solution at this very moment to help provide limited financial resources to working professionals who are unable to work due to the crisis," Sleeper said. "[Our] website will have more details as soon as they are available."
A sign is now attached to the front door of Deep Roots ATX Salon in northwest Austin that says they're temporarily closed.
“Nobody could have predicted this," co-owner Melanie Jacobs said. “The faster we can keep everybody out of the public, the faster we can get through this.”
Jacobs also said they were doing well with business before. Just five months ago, they opened a second location in Cedar Park to meet demand.
“I’m 100% worried about my stylists," Jacobs said. “I know we’ll come back with vengeance and we’ll be strong and we’ll do well, but it’s the unknown – we don’t know how long this is going to be.”
Out in East Austin, Mary Joy Garcia, the owner of Holy Misfit, said she'll continue to stay temporarily closed while observing the latest updates with the virus.
“You kind of see what’s going on and you kind of have to make your call based on whatever’s going on and, to me, I just thought it’d be the safest and most responsible decision to kind of just close it down for now and just see how the spread goes," Garcia said. “It’s pushing me against the wall, for sure, but it’s kind of making me be creative with how I run my business."
She also said it's good to support local businesses in times like this.
“I would tell people to support us. Because we’re making everyone look good and if you look good, you feel good. If you feel good, you pay good," she said.
Back in northwest Austin, the mentality is the same with Better Half co-owner Sheri Hoagland.
“It’s a pretty scary financial burden on us," Hoagland said. “My worries are the finances, my hope is that we can get back to work as soon as possible."
Hoagland is also optimistic that the quicker temporary closures happen, the quicker people can get back to work.
“By us not working, we’re hoping we’re going to be there sooner to get back to our clients," Hoagland said.
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