Council Covid grant ‘marvellous’ and aids salon to sort PPE
The day before lockdown, Headmasters hair and beauty salon in Waterfoot was mad busy with staff working to 9pm.
Then they returned home to hear Prime Minister Boris Johnson telling them the country was going into lockdown and they would not be back in work on Tuesday.
The salon had already introduced safety measures and clients were asked to sanitise their hands on entering the premises on Bacup Road and work stations had been spaced out.
Director of Headmasters Christine Moffatt said: “On that Monday, we had people ringing up and walking in and it was constant with clients desperate to get their hair cut or have a last colour before the lockdown we all knew was coming.
“We were able to furlough the 12 staff members of staff, but the salon costs did not go away.”
Those costs included gas, electricity and water, as even though the salon was not operational there were still standing charges; telephone, switch machines and stock that had already been ordered still had to be paid for.
Christine said: “I received a letter from Rossendale Council saying the business was entitled to a Coronavirus Local Authority Discretionary Grant and I went online to apply. The form was very straight-forward to fill in and we received a grant within a few weeks..
“Really it was marvellous and it was a big help to us especially when we did not know exactly when we would be allowed to be back in business.”
When confirmation came through that hair salons could reopen on July 4, Headmasters prepared the salon in accordance with National Hairdressers Federation guidelines and got two local companies in to provide PPE.
Christine said: “Rossendale Forme and Knife created the PPE screens for in between the back washes and Haslingden Plastics provided the screen for reception. I think it is important to support local businesses.”
The company celebrated its 40th birthday in 2018 and tripled the size of the business by taking over a vacant shop.
When they could finally reopen, clients were delighted. Christine said: “Some cried, some have insisted on paying twice for their first haircut and a lot have been buying extra products to help us as a business.”
The salon is now open seven days a week with all the staff off furlough. They now they work in two teams – one on for three days the other four days and then the teams rotate.
Christine added: “We have changed the way we work and now do more late nights and also open on a Sunday, so that we are there when the clients want us.
“The council grant was a big help, I knew I could ride the lockdown, but the money helped us to prepare to reopen to the public.”