Columbus salon struggles with COVID-19 shutdown

Coronavirus

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — After more than six weeks of no income, the staff at Bella Zari Hair Studio and Day Spa in Circleville met Thursday night to discuss their future.

“We still have bills to pay and so we’re at the point of, how much longer do we keep paying for a shop to sit empty,” says salon owner Mindy Yoe. “It’s just a tough decision. Do we pay the bills to keep an empty business open or do we support our family?”

The hair stylists and nail techs are all independent contractors. They’ve been unable to collect any unemployment benefits because the state is still trying to develop a system to process unemployment benefits for self-employed workers.

Yoe said the staff decided to ask the community for help. They set up an online request for donations to try to keep the salon viable.

Yoe said the community responded with enough donations in a day to keep the salon viable for another month.

The question remains though – when will the state allow salons and barbershops to reopen and what will that look like?

Gov. Mike DeWine said Friday that once his reopening task force develops best practices to keep employees and customers safe, the state will then set a reopening date.

Yoe said she has received no guidance so far from the State Cosmetology Board about what might be required for reopening, but some things are obvious.

“We are going to have to have the right supplies and equipment with gloves and masks and shields and whatever else is expected from us,” Yoe said. “So we’re going to have to have time to get it and right now, it’s hard to find a lot of those supplies.”

Coronavirus in Ohio resources:

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