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CoLab Salon owner Erin Childs talks reopening salons, barbershops

Megan Holmes

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The St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce presents: Coronavirus Impact Insights. Click the play arrow above to watch the full video.

On this episode, CoLab Salon owner Erin Childs joins Chris Steinocher, CEO of the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce and Joe Hamilton, publisher of the St. Pete Catalyst to talk about survival through mandated Covid-19 closures and getting ready to reopen her salon.

Childs shares her experience closing her salon, her success with getting Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) assistance through her banker, Bank OZK, and becoming a thought leader in the salon industry. Childs explains that once immediate needs were met, her mind went to serving her clients and her industry. CoLabs began working to educate people in the industry on things they likely hadn’t yet had time to think about.

She circulated a petition, began a Facebook group, contacted the Chamber of Commerce and has continued to get the word out through media and podcasts.

Childs says CoLab Salon will not be opening today, and likely will not open for a few more days. When Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the change at 4 p.m. Friday via Twitter, giving salons and barbershops just two days to prepare to reopen – without clear guidelines – Childs knew her business would need a bit longer runway.

According to Childs, not knowing whether salons would have the ability to double-book as they normally do, along with having been closed for two months, didn’t allow her to begin rescheduling. She believes that according to the state guidelines, the profitability of her employees would decrease by 50 percent.

Barbers, cosmetologists, nail salons, hair braiders, hair wrappers and body wrappers were permitted to open Monday, by appointment only. No group appointments are allowed under state guidelines, and masks must be worn by employees.

The state also recommends disinfecting everything within the business prior to opening, providing masks for clients, and reducing capacity of the waiting room as well as potentially contaminated objects like communal magazines.

For a full list of guidelines click here. 

 

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