Salon and barbershop owners keep doors closed with no funding assistance

Posted at 6:14 PM, Apr 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-01 01:58:31-04

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Salon owners were on the edges of their seats yesterday waiting to hear if they could still open their doors May 1, but instead are spending some more time closed.

"I still feel lost. I feel like we’re not addressed even though at the beginning we were super addressed and now we’re just left behind like we don’t have any guidance," said Matthew Gresham, a fourteen-year color specialist.

Gresham works at one of the two Bellazza Beauty Bar locations on the west side of Tucson and he said he was on the edge of his couch waiting to hear the governor’s orders and the feeling was no different for Ivan Valenzuela at Landmark Barber Studio in midtown.

“I mean we feel left out,” he explained when he heard the news.

Valenzuela said he applied for a loan through the Small Business Administration and has not heard back.

“Luckily, I was a little prepared for it, but if we keep going like this I don’t know how much longer I can go especially with no help from the government," said Valenzuela.

Bellazza applied for a disaster loan from the SBA and they too haven’t heard anything.

And when they tried to apply for the payroll protection program their bank told them via phone there was no more funds to give.

“We still have to pay rent for our space. We still have to pay for everything. So we’re dipping into our pockets the whole time this is happening. I’m currently living off of my roommates right now because I”m 100 percent out of funds," explained Gresham.

KGUN 9 called the local branch of the SBA and they said both programs are backlogged.

However, there are other potential solutions available for small businesses like Bellazza and Landmark. Tucson City Council is moving forward with the "We Are One/Somos Uno resiliency fund that offers local businesses up to $50,000 with a ten year at zero percent interest payback option.

“I’ve been pacing my house because I don’t get to do what I love every day," said Gresham.

Both shops are ready to get back to businesses safely.

“I love doing this. I love coming to work everyday and talking with my barbers. I just want. I just want to get back to already," said Valenzuela.

Some salons, barbershops, and spas are still open for clients to pick up product in the meantime.