Massachusetts hair salons can only reopen for appointments as early as Memorial Day, according to the Plan to reopen the Baker administration during the coronavirus pandemic.
Hair salons and barber shops are on the list of businesses allowed to reopen for limited services in the first phase, along with pet groomers, car washes and places of worship.
Like other businesses, barbershops and hair salons will need to adhere to state requirements for social distancing, face coverings, personal protective equipment, and other safety standards to limit the spread. of the coronavirus.
Each industry will receive a COVID-19 control plan, but companies will not need to submit their plan to the state for approval before the opening. Instead, they’ll need to keep the plan handy and provide it to local authorities if they face an inspection, according to the plan released on Monday.
The coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 5,000 people in Massachusetts, according to the State Department of Public Health. As of Sunday, the state had registered 86,010 confirmed cases.
Meanwhile, tens of thousands of businesses have struggled to stay afloat, awaiting help from the federal government’s disaster loan or paycheck protection program.
Some Massachusetts hair salons have spent weeks waiting for a response from the federal government. Hairdressers at La Ruche salon in Northborough told MassLive they have had no feedback on their disaster loan applications but were eventually able to apply for unemployment benefits under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program, as many of them were self-employed.
Boston City Councilor Julia Mejia, chair of the Small Business and Workforce Development Committee, said owners of black and brown hair salons were struggling to secure P3 funding, falling behind on bills while waiting for it. aid. Some have been approved for P3 funding, but haven’t got enough money to cover their costs because their employees have 1099s or are undocumented.
Other small business owners Mejia spoke with have no formal training in business management and survived on their talent before the pandemic, but now they are struggling to understand their next steps.
In Boston, these businesses will receive a lifeline as they prepare to reopen. Mejia’s office is teaming up with Tessi Consulting to launch a pilot program that provides free training and certification to minority-owned hair salon owners and immigrants who are recovering from non-essential business shutdowns.
The program, funded by the Family relief fund, will select up to 60 immigrant and minority-owned beauty salons and hairdressers for 12-hour training in June. Applications should be sent on May 26.
Training will be available between June 1 and June 12 with business management guidelines and state health and cosmetology licensing board guidelines. Participants will receive technical assistance between June 12 and 30 with the aim of being all certified by the end of the month.
“My goal is to amplify concerns and provide support to the minority business community in one of the most vulnerable industries economically devastated by COVID,” Mejia said. “We look forward to being able to provide lasting relief by providing them with business knowledge while finding ways to provide financial support.
Mejia, who was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in Dorchester, ran on the platform to ensure that all Boston residents have equal access to the city’s resources and political process, including racial minorities , immigrants and young people. She said she hopes this pilot program will give business owners the confidence to resume their activities safely and smoothly.
“I just don’t know how they managed to survive this long without the essentials of business,” Mejia said. “For us, we’re trying to get ahead of the curve by making sure we provide them with the training and technical assistance they will need to be successful beyond COVID-19.”