Some beauty industry workers, such as spray tan and fingernail technicians, in the Edmonton area are grappling with the COVID-19 restrictions announced by Premier Jason Kenney on May 4.
The Alberta government has ordered all personal wellness businesses in high-risk areas to close effective May 9 for at least three weeks.
Personal services include aesthetics such as manicures, pedicures, waxing and tanning. This also includes companies that offer cosmetic facials, salons, and tattoo services.
The province says “high risk areas” are areas with at least 50 cases per 100,000 population and at least 30 active cases.
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For business owners like Lauren Bidlock, owner of Glitz Spray Tanning in Sherwood Park, a third stop during the pandemic has left hopeful brides and future high school graduates without her beauty services for their milestone events.
Bidlock opened Glitz Spray Tanning in August 2011 and has since racked up over 100 repeat customers over the years.
“There were so many more weddings this time around that had to be called off,” Bidlock says.
The company’s busiest season is May through July, when it tans up to 300 clients per month.
Some brides who have booked have postponed their wedding and plan to use their spray tans for a later date. As for high school graduates, there has been a significant drop in nominations, and only “some get (spray tan) for pictures,” Bidlock says.
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To support the business in these unprecedented times, Glitz remains active on their social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook to connect with their followers and encourage individuals to book for future events.
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Bidlock suggests that communication is crucial and that when it comes to customers, it “builds a relationship with them, so they’re happy to come back when (they) reopen.”
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Other businesses such as nail salons have also taken a financial hit with the new restrictions in place. Vina Tran, owner of Sparkly Nails in Leduc, opened her salon on April 12.
In eight weeks of paying rent, she was only able to keep her business open for three weeks.
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As a business owner throughout COVID-19, Tran says, “This time around, we’ve kind of prepared for the pandemic.” She set aside additional savings to pay rent for future closures.
The owner of the small business says she’s used to foreclosure procedures, but with a whole new business opening, she says “there isn’t really much help for new businesses.”
According to the Government of Alberta, new businesses that began operations between March 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021 must demonstrate a 30% reduction in month-to-month revenue to receive a stimulus grant.
This leaves new businesses that opened in April 2021 without any funding to help maintain their income.
“There is nothing we can do about it.”
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Tran hopes the Government of Alberta can provide financial support “to people who are willing to take the risk like (herself), not just existing businesses.”
Tran tells small business owners to “stay positive and keep your home as clean as possible.”
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