March 21, 2020

Beauty [and the Beast of Uncertainty]

My stylist and your barber need to keep their lights on and roofs over their head just like you and me.

by Susan E. Stutz

BondStreetSalon

Hairstylists, colorists, and barbers are among the most personal of non-medical service providers. Their job is to touch us. We cannot partake of their expertise without physical contact. And, there is a personal relationship with your stylist that is unlike any other. Not to mention how a new hair cut, new color, or a fresh style can lift our spirits and put a glow on our cheeks.

In the U.S., there are over 650,000 artists, working in more than 86,000 salons and barber shops. They make their livings making us look good. As non-essential businesses, however, salons and barber shops across the country are being shuttered in the wake of COVID-19. And, the men and women who stand behind chairs cutting and coloring their way through the day are generally independent contractors who do not qualify for unemployment compensation. That needs to change.

With skyrocketing unemployment in all areas imaginable, individual states are taking steps to expand unemployment compensation eligibility to workers in a variety of industries. The length of time one can collect unemployment benefits is also being extended. But those changes do nothing to provide financial support for people in the beauty industry. My stylist and your barber need to keep their lights on and roofs over their head just like you and me. And, they need our help and support as we all navigate life in the days of COVID-19.

Here is what you can do

Send covid19 to 50409 and see what measures your state has taken to provide financial support for people in your state. If your state is not one that has expanded unemployment benefits to include members of the beauty industry, send governor and we will help you send a letter encouraging them to take steps to also provide a some measure of financial security to these hard-working folks.

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