Self-employed cosmetologists prepare for major impact of potential COVID-19 closures

Your Money Matters

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — As states all over the country work to prevent the spread of COVID-19, more and more businesses are being forced to close, especially those that involve person-to-person contact. 

“I’ve been doing hair for 16 years and I’ve never had to worry about coming to work or what it would mean if I did,” Sioux Falls cosmetologist Jill Navratil said. 

Stylist Jill Navratil is preparing for another day of meeting with her clients.

“We’ve been pretty busy because people are worried they might not get in eventually,” Navratil said. 

It’s something she’s already seen happen to hair stylists in neighboring states.

“It is scary that Minnesota has closed all salons, Iowa has and now Colorado has, for over a month, and for me to not have an income for that long, is pretty scary,” Navratil said.

“That is my whole income, so I have no income, and technically I’m self employed, so that makes it more difficult,” Sioux Falls cosmetologist Holly Hintz said. 

Hintz has already had her business of doing hair for local nursing home residents shut down.

“Some ladies get their hair done twice a week, almost all of them once a week at least, I have been getting a few phone calls of when do you get to come back, when do I get to get my hair done?” Hintz said.

Hintz says it’s impossible to know how long this might last; it’s why she and her husband have now put their house on the market, preparing for the possibility of weeks with no pay. 

“I went from planning a vacation, to what are we going to do? Because my husband can’t work either,” Hintz said.

“As a single mom, I don’t have a backup plan, I don’t have someone else to help, so I don’t know what it will be like,” Navratil said.

That fear of being forced to close is why Navratil and other area stylists are taking precautions, but still working as much as they can, for now.

“I have lots of people texting me and calling asking whether I’m open or not or if I will be at the time of their service. I say I don’t know,” Navratil said. “But until I hear otherwise, I’m here doing business as normal.”

Governor Noem’s office announced small business owners and non profit organizations in the state that have been negatively impacted by COVID-19 are eligible for low interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

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