Community rallies behind struggling businesses

Lisa Barnard stands in her empty salon. The generally busy business has been closed since Idaho Gov. Brad Little gave his stay-home order on March 25.

PRESTON,ID – Trends Salon in Preston, ID, like other salons, has been closed since the last week of March. It is hoping to open next week, if all goes well. Idaho Governor Brad Little closed salons, bars and gyms, putting all their employees out of work with a Stay Home order weeks ago.

Idaho Gov. Brad Little gave his order to close bars, gyms and beauty salons on March 25.

The closure has cost me about $10,000, and I still have bills to pay,” said owner Lisa Barnard. “It has caused the 11 people who rent space here to also be out of work.”

She said she figures the total loss of all the wage earners is closer to $40,000. For a county with no coronavirus cases, closing down businesses seems extreme.

“I’ve applied for help form the State and the Federal Government, but so far I haven’t seen any money,” Barnard said. “I haven’t received an unemployment check, and the Small Business Administration’s Payroll Protection Program hasn’t helped either.”

You have to have employees, you have to have payroll for P.P.P. benefits. All of the beauticians rent space in the salon.

Empty chairs at Trends Salon means no income for the ladies that work there and no payment for rented space.

The restaurants in the county had to close, but they are still able to provide takeout services. Not so for salons.

A positive aspect of the shutdown is that people have slipped money under the door, to help the struggling salon.

Every now and then, someone will leave an envelope with money in it,” she said. “People have cancelled their appointments, but they paid for it anyway, to help.”

“The community has been great. They have been good to show us support,” she added.

“People have come together to help other struggling businesses too,” she said. “There are two boutiques that were ready to close their doors for good,” Barnard said. “People heard about it and started to buy their goods online.”

One was a clothing store, the other sold crafts. Both have better sales than they have ever had and plan on staying in business.

“The community has been awesome to support each other,” Barnard said.  “People have rallied to help struggling businesses. It’s a very good community to live in.”


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