“I, personally, closed my salon on March 21, 2020.
“Today, salons are at an almost total loss of revenue and stylists at a complete loss of income. Our ability to provide for ourselves and our families has been stripped from us. This is our livelihood. It is more than “essential” to us and our families. It is our lifeline and it has been severed.
“Most of us have not received unemployment benefits, stimulus checks, SBA, or PPP loans. Those of us who have received any of these, have found that assistance to be a fraction of our usual income, needless, to say nothing near what may be required to sustain our households.
“The beauty industry, especially in the south, is predominantly female driven. Seventeen percent of our family households in Mississippi are mothers and their children with no second income producer in the home. This stand still is beyond debilitating. It is complete devastation for many. Our bills are piling up, our pantries are running dry, and our hands are tied behind our backs, with no definite end in sight and no real help on the way. We cannot re-open our businesses, we cannot offer services in our homes, we cannot go into others’ homes, we cannot sell our services online.
“The long-term ramifications are serious. If we become so desperate to feed our children, to pay our electricity, or obtain any other necessities, and we choose to go against current orders, we risk not only being fined, but, could permanently lose our license. No one wants that. We just want the right to work, to pursue our livelihoods, to provide for ourselves. There is no logical reason, with proper measures taken, we should be denied that opportunity any longer. We have not even had the chance to propose solutions. The Board of Cosmetology has not advocated for us. They have only relayed how we will have our hands slapped or permanently tied if we do not comply.
“While the virus may be invisible, the effects are becoming increasingly, painfully, visible. We are suffering.”
Vamp The Salon