MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Businesses not deemed essential during the “Stay at Home” order are looking for different ways to make ends meet – and that includes salons and barber shops.
Joel Martin’s Rosemount barbershop is appropriately named the Man Cave.
“A lot of my customers are into motorcycles,” Martin said.
But for weeks now, his clippers and scissors have sat idle, and his business has been cut short. To make up for lost wages, he’s spending more time in his car than in his shop.
“Thirty years has been replaced by now doing, you know, full-time Ubering,” Martin said.
On the other side of the floor, Martin’s co-owner Lisa Halverson runs Chill Salon. She has seven employees and countless clients, who’ve also become friends.
“They reach out to me on Facebook all the time, ‘I miss you. I miss talking to you. When are you coming back?'” Halverson said.
Missing clients is what small businesses know. The big unknown for many is where help is coming from while they are unable to work.
While Halverson’s employees collect unemployment, she says she hasn’t received a dime.
“I’ve applied for these great loans that the federal government has spoken about. I’ve applied for the EIDL, I’ve also applied for the small business emergency loan through the state. I have not heard one word,” Halverson said.
As they wait, Halverson and Martin have tried to stay on the cutting edge. They believe they could work by wearing protective gear, sanitizing, and staggering appointments. And Halverson says separate rooms already allow for social distancing. She knows she could get a job at a grocery store, but feels her salon is safer.
“I could go there and get a paycheck, but I can’t do what I’m licensed to do, and I think that is so frustrating,” Halverson said.
Another small business owner who runs a gym told WCCO today that she is also still waiting on loans to help with her business.