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Barbers Hail Return Of Their ‘15% Day’

By YOURI KEMP

Tribune Business

Reporter

ykemp@tribunemedia.net

Barbers and beauticians yesterday hailed the easing of COVID-19 restrictions that will enable them to open on Sundays as that day traditionally accounted for 15 percent of their weekly revenues.

Anton Minnis, vice-president of the Bahamian Cosmetologists and Barbers Association (BCBA), told Tribune Business: “During this time we are normally on hiatus, so we really needed this Sunday reopening. When you look at it we have a lot of people that worship on Saturdays, so Sunday was their only day of the weekend. So thank God for that.

“Sunday business is anywhere from 10 percent to 15 percent of revenue generation for the week, but some of us try to spread out the system to accommodate the protocols to ensure that you don’t have customers crowding in the stores at different times. So barbers and beauty salons needed this extra time on Sunday so they can not have the days in the week so tight.”

At the start of the pandemic, the Association partnered with the Ministry of Health to offer COVID-19 certified training to its members and others in the industry. Without this, they would have not been allowed to reopen their locations following the initial COVID-19 lockdown.

Mr Minnis added: “I don’t think it was necessary to take the Sunday business from us. If the people followed the protocols then it would have been OK, but I don’t think it was necessary to block us on Sundays. When you look at it, the average food store is usually crowded on a Sunday morning. How do you police that?

“But then you stop a barber shop or beauty salon from operating on a Sunday because you feel they’re going to have too many people in them, when food stores can spread COVID-19 more? It just didn’t make sense to me.”

Many industry professionals and observers felt the restrictions were implemented with no attention to scientific or economic realities, which was partly why the newly-elected Davis administration decided to lift some of these measures.

Mr Minnis added: “Over the past two years I have seen a few barber shops close up and moved to mobile service. I also know of a few colleagues who went back to home-based locations. How this works for them, we’re not sure, because with the regular opening hours working from home doesn’t always pan out that way.

“Because when you’re home people just show up and how do you tell someone ‘no’ when they show up to your house? They will just go to the next store up the street who will still serve them, so you don’t want to lose your client base due to the fact that you’re just trying to close up and spend time with your family.”

Mr Minnis said he was unsure how mobile providers were faring because the “commute is a significant cost that needs to be factored in”.

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