COVID-19 Hits Area Service Industries

Service industries are one of the hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic. Salon owners are making adjustments and taking precautions to stay open amid COVID-19 concerns.

Erika Cobey is the owner of EC Hair & Company, a salon in Macon. Cobey said she will ride it out for as long as possible.

“I’ve decided to stay open financially because if I don’t, I don’t know what’s going to happen in the next few months,” said Cobey.

The salon owner said she will stay open unless the federal or state government requires them to shut down.

The Amanda Jane salon in Macon remains open but the owner Mitch Kersey is considering plans to close normal business operations.

Kersey said, “I’m more concerned about us having to close and all of our stylists being without a job for a while because most of them are self employed.”

He said the thought of shutting down makes him sad because of the relationship that they have with clients.

“We have such personal contact with our clients, you know, every day and it’s just, it really affects the psyche a lot,” Kersey said.

While the salons remain open they are following federal and state safety guidelines for businesses and employers.

“We’re wiping down stations and chairs every time a client leaves it,” said Kersey.

Jimmy Wesley Barnett, a stylist at EC Hair, said their main priority is security.

He said, “We want our clients to feel comfortable and secure, that they’re getting not just a great service, but their safety is being considered.”

Cobey said a stylist who services elderly clients has been impacted because the clients have canceled their appointments. She has decided to create a separate schedule for the elderly.

“So, like, they can come in the salon in the mornings with her by themselves and we won’t be here if that makes them feel safer to keep their appointment,” said Cobey.

The salon also ask that customers make an appointment and not bring people to the salon that are not getting services. They are also allowing clients the option to wait in their car for their appointment instead of in the waiting room.