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Salons, personal services on edge as coronavirus restrictions ramp up

They weren’t affected by more restrictions this time, but providers are bracing for change
Published: Nov. 18, 2020 at 7:22 PM EST
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LAPEER, Mich. (WJRT) - Hairstylists and salon owners are on edge about what could be next for their occupations in the coming weeks.

Personal services like hair and nail salons were among the businesses closed in Michigan last March, when the coronavirus pandemic reached the state. They reopened in June with a number of measures in place to prevent COVID-19 and assist with contact tracing.

While bars and restaurants in Michigan were forced to close indoor dining for three weeks beginning Wednesday, personal services won’t have to change much for the foreseeable future.

“I was holding my breath during some of the businesses that were going to be affected,” said Roots Hair Studio owner Cathy Hourtienne.

She was preparing for the possibility of closing her doors again when the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced the latest coronavirus measures. Thankfully, she can stay open for now.

“I was extremely grateful and relieved as soon as they got finished,” Hourtienne said. “I was like, ‘Yes another week.’ But a nail biter.”

Roots Hair Studio in Lapeer was closed for months at the start of the pandemic and the idea of having to go through it again was daunting, but Hourtienne said she’s been preparing.

“I recently had a sale to push some inventory and get some income. So I’ve been preparing financially the whole time,” she said.

While Hourtienne remains open for now, she knows that could quickly change and is ready to still reach her clients.

“I tried to find ways to stay connected by putting myself out there and I think it improved my relationship with my clients by doing to tutorials and offering products,” she said.

Right now, Hourtienne will continue working as much as she can and encourages those struggling to keep their small businesses open to think outside of the box.

“It so important to get creative and proactive,” she said. “If you just let your business close, it’s going to close. Have a smart mind about it and find ways to stay connected. Put yourself out there. Do something different that is maybe out of your comfort zone but could maybe have a huge impact on your business.”

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