Triangle salons expecting big business as governor continues to ease restrictions

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Minutes after 5 p.m. Wednesday, the phones at Salon Blu started ringing.

Wednesday afternoon, Gov. Roy Cooper announced that Phase Two of North Carolina’s reopening plan begins Friday, allowing salons to reopen with restrictions.

“We’re expecting a tidal wave of business. We’ve been very, very lucky to have so many people reach out,” said salon co-owner Sara Davis.

Davis says they plan to reopen Saturday, so they’ll spend the next two days prepping Salon Blu’s three locations.

“We will just start working around the clock. Seven days a week, extended hours. Make it happen. Get some money in these people’s pockets,” she said.

When customers do return, things will look different.

Under NCCDHHS guidelines salons, restaurants, and pools can reopen at 50 percent capacity and must follow distancing and cleaning regulations. Salon employees must also wear face coverings.

Davis says North Carolina’s cosmetology board already has strict cleanliness guidelines, but they will take things a step further.

“It will be kind of like a doctor’s office visit. You won’t enter the building without a temperature check. You won’t be able to enter without answer the basic COVID-19 symptom questions,” said Davis.

She says they’ve planned on removing some chairs and taking apart the salon’s lobby to spread out clients and staff as much as possible.

They’ve bought hundreds of masks, hand sanitizers, and cleaning supplies to make customers comfortable coming in.

“That’s what we tried to do for our staff this whole time is keep them safe. That’s what we’re trying to do for our guests; keep them safe. We’ve spent a lot of time and a lot of money trying to make that happen,” she said.

She and partner took over the business in October, and closed on March 17 to ensure the health and safety of their staff.

In total, they will have spent 70 days closed. Davis says they used a PPP loan to pay 75 percent of their employees because many had trouble getting unemployment, or didn’t get the maximum amount.

“It was extreme anxiety,” said Davis. “Overwhelming because for us it means, as new business owners, just kind of actually surviving.”

Davis says in addition to physically sorting out the salon, they need to sort out 10 weeks’ worth of canceled appointments.

“It’s exciting to know that you are missed and that they think you’re essential,” she said.

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