A week after all restaurants were closed to dine-in services, a new group of businesses will close because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The new round of closings will hit the service industry, including barbers, hairdressers and beauty professionals.
Steve Laxton, owner of Laxton’s Barber Shop in Hickory, said his business saw a surge of customers on Wednesday, many of whom were not sure if the shop would even be open on Wednesday.
Laxton’s shop will be closed for at least 30 days. “Well, it’s going to be rough,” Laxton said, adding that his employees have no other source of income.
David Williams, a Hickory city councilman who owns the Plush Kutz Barbershop and runs a barber college, said closing barbershops is “uncharted territory” for people in the business.
“I’ve never known anyone that went and signed up for unemployment,” Williams said. “This is something new for this profession.”
Williams said he plans to push for the city of Hickory to do more when it comes to putting out information of the resources available to businesses and residents.
He said he plans to raise the issue at the Hickory City Council’s next meeting. “Even though we as a city aren’t giving out these loans and giving out these financial grants … we could at least point our citizens in the direction to where they can get help,” Williams said.
Other business owners are finding a way to press forward amid the disruption.
Heather von Drehle Fleissner, owner of Gräfin Blau Spa & Salon in Hickory, said she is offering consultations via video conferencing and will organize free delivery of beauty products to customers’ homes.
She’s currently offering a 19 percent discount using the COVID-19% online order code. “We’re just telling all of our clients, we’re here for you,” Fleissner said. “We’re not going to desert you for the next 30 or 45 days or whatever. We’re a phone call away.”