COVID-19 Will Not be the End of the Salon Industry
To say the past month has been anything but chaotic would be an understatement. From the federal government’s social distancing guidelines to stay-at-home orders enacted by local and state governments, businesses—including salon and spas—have had to adapt quickly to a continually evolving situation and, in many cases, to close shop altogether until this crisis has passed. Here in Ohio, COVID-19 cases exceeded 2,000 as of the morning of April 1. Governor Mike DeWine has stated that he’ll extend the stay-at-home order, originally set to expire April 6, to some yet undetermined future date. President Trump has declared Ohio a major disaster area. This means nail salons, hair salons, barbershops, and spas throughout the state will remain closed for the foreseeable future.
It’s scary, we know. But we also firmly believe that the beauty industry can and will survive this pandemic.
Just think about all those roots that will need covered, highlights that will need touched up, bangs that will require trimming, and manicures that will need redoing once this is over. While the first thing our fellow Ohioans may do when released from home confinement may be to seek out and embrace their friends and loved ones, you can bet the second, for many, will be a much-needed trip to the salon.
In the meantime, there are many things that beauty industry professionals can do to make sure that their businesses survive to see this glorious return. Consider starting with the following:
· Talk to your landlord.
The COVID-19 is causing hardship for everyone, and some states have even enacted restrictions to prevent the assessment of late payment penalties and evictions. If you fear your cash reserves are not enough to cover your salon or spa’s rent during this forced closure, reach out to your landlord. You may be able to negotiate lower payments or a temporary forbearance.
· Talk to your bank.
Major banks like Ally Bank and Bank of America are stepping up to help those impacted by COVID-19 closures. If you think there is any chance that you won’t be able to cover your business credit card or business loan payments during the COVID-19 crisis, reach out to your banker. They may be willing to wave late penalties or even grant you a grace period.
· Apply for a small business loan.
The CARES Act, which was signed into law on Friday, March 27, includes enhanced and new loan options for small business owners. These include Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loans. You can use an EIDL loan to maintain your payroll, pay your rent or mortgage payments, and repay obligations that cannot be met due to revenue loss. A PPP loan can cover payroll costs, employee healthcare benefits, mortgage interest, utilities, and other debt interest. You can find the EIDL online application here. You’ll need to apply for a PPP loan through your local bank after April 3 according to the SBA.
· Communicate frequently with your employees.
Social distancing is isolating many of us. Reach out to your employees frequently through free video conferencing tools such as Zoom. Scheduling regular remote team meetings during the COVID-19 crisis will help you stay connected, reinforce bonds, and lift each other’s spirits.
· Don’t neglect relationships.
To prevent hiccups in your supply chain and any loss of clientele, continue to foster relationships with clients and vendors during your shutdown. You can use social media channels like Facebook to chat, provide updates, and share humorous memes. Everyone is feeling down; this is your chance to inspire with company achievements, success stores, your best before/after transformations and more.
Another thing that beauty professionals can do at a time like this to help ensure a stable environment for themselves is to apply for a grant hosted through the Horst Rechelbacher Foundation (HRF). This grant was built specifically to help all of the beauty professionals who have been laid off or negatively affected due to COVID-19. Check them out to see what you could qualify for. There is also an additional grant that also licensed beauty professionals are eligible to apply to through the Professional Beauty Association (PBA). Like HRF, the PBA was designed help support the licensed beauty professionals who have not been able to work or are experiencing financial hardships due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Learn more about how you can donate and/or apply today!
As always, for more information and stay up-to-date on our action plan as a business, a school, and a salon/ spa, please head over to our website www.creativeimages.edu where we supply weekly updates on our status. Thank you all and God bless!
By Angela Rose for Creative Images Institute of Cosmetology