Written by James O’Brien

What the world is going through right now with COVID-19 is extreme, but we have to stay strong and come out through the other end stronger then ever before as a service based industry reliant on the close contact and fun banter that one experiences when they visit their local barber regularly.  

Yes there will be hard times, there will be hard everything, but we must come through this together.  Let’s stop saying we need to close down this industry now, we need to follow a process that is being stipulated by our Government during these uncertain times.  We also need to be mindful that this needs to be done progressively so the economy doesn’t take a massive fall similar to that of the great depression, and if you put every hairdresser and barber out of a job right now, what happens to those Centrelink lines, what happens to those pay checks?

As heartbreaking as it is, there is a necessity for all business people to immediately decrease wages during this time given sales have decreased so dramatically from 2,500 hours to 1,100 hours of wages paid in one week.  This is something that has been so difficult to do in a period of one week’s trade but we have been left with no other option but to do this to survive otherwise we may not come out the other side.  

We need to band together and support small business right now.  While our clients still have the opportunity to go and get a haircut and make themselves feel good, we should do this for as long as we are able.  
We will always follow first and foremost what is being implemented by the federal and state governments as a priority.  I only allow 6 people in a 50SQM shop currently with the new guidelines in place and customers are required to wait outside until it is their turn.  We are also disinfecting the each station after every client and enforcing any client that if you are not feeling well, don’t come in, stop the spread.

It’s ridiculous if people are still going out with this virus, if you want to see the curve go down, please stay at home.  Follow the guidelines and self isolate for 14 days, don’t go out.  We need to adapt, learn how to change in these hard times because if we don’t, we are not going to survive and come out the other end strong.  

Our ideal scenario should there be a requirement to shut down, would be to close before Easter Friday, to ensure that there is less impact on the retail industry as public holidays will ensure less loss of income.  
Let the Australian Government timeline and plan the shutdown in accordance with what is right for the community and the economy.  Lets slow the process down as much as possible to allow Centrelink to catch up on the unemployment rate that is occurring at the moment.

We need to band together at such a difficult time and come out the other end as a strong leader in the industry supporting our employees in this unprecedented time that none of us could have ever imagined to be possible. Let’s support one another in the industry and stay strong so we can reconvene when we are told it is safe to do so and do it with arms open.  To all those in the industry struggling at the moment, I wish you all the best during this very difficult time.