Barbershops have been the cornerstone of community for thousands of years; a space for grooming not only follicles but ideas. Now, in the wake of COVID-19, we need each other more than ever. Carrying on the industry’s rich tradition of social exchange, SQUIRE is launching HelpBarbershops.com as a community resource for shops everywhere.
Centralizing information on securing loans, grants, and other government stimulus packages, our team is looking out for you and yours in this time of economic uncertainty.
SQUIRE has your back. We will be updating this site frequently with new information and tools to support your business.
With several states relaxing their shutdown policies, certain barbershops are considering reopening their doors. If your shop is one of them, be sure your business is in compliance with state safety regulations. We’ve linked the respective guidelines for each state below, be sure to read thoroughly as violators can face serious consequences.
FOR REFERENCE: The following guidelines are courtesy of the Georgia State Board of Cosmetologists and Barbers – however, be sure to also check out your state’s specifically, as guidelines vary!
Barbershops should consider use of a touchless infrared thermometer to check the temperature of employee each day and of each client who enters the shop. Any employee or client who has a temperature above 99°F should be sent home immediately and not allowed to return to the shop until they have no fever and no evidence of COVID-19 symptoms.
Ask each client entering the shop the following questions…
Have you had a cough?
Have you had a fever?
Have you been around anyone exhibiting these symptoms within the past 14 days?
Are you living with anyone who is sick or quarantined?
Limit people in the barbershop!
Barbershops should consider seeing clients by appointment only.
Barbershops should consider telephonic or online scheduling.
Limit the number of persons waiting area in the shop.
It is recommended that clients wait outside the shop in their vehicle until the cosmetologist or barber is ready to serve them. It is recommended that persons not being serviced in the shop wait outside the shop.
Shops are not be used for social gathering places!
Maintain social distancing at all times! Spacing between persons in the barbershop should be at least
six feet, except when staff are servicing clients. Shops should consider additional spacing
between booths, divider shields, and/or alternate work schedules to accomplish this.
Personal Protective Gear:
Wear masks – barbers will be required to wear masks at all times. (Shops may want to consider providing masks for employees). Clients should also wear face masks to the extent possible while receiving services.
Face Shields – If available, it is recommended that employees wear face shields when servicing clients.
Gloves – It is recommended that employees wear disposable gloves when servicing clients and change gloves between each client to the greatest extent possible.
Capes – Each client should be draped with a clean cape. Capes should be laundered following the fabric recommendations between each client, or shops may consider using disposable capes and dispose of the cape after it is used.
Smocks – Employees should wear a clean smock between each client. Smocks should be laundered following the fabric recommendations between each client, or shops may consider using disposable smocks and dispose of the smock after use on a client.
Neck strips – Employees should use protective neck strips around the neck of each hair-cut client.
**Hand-washing with soapy, warm water, for a minimum of 20 seconds will be required by employees between every client service.**
Employees should arrive at the shop showered and wearing clean clothing (naturally, but especially now!). Employees should change clothes before entering their homes when they return from work.
PPG, such as gloves, gowns, drapes, linens and eye coverings should be changed between each client. These used items should be cleaned and disinfected or discarded in a closed container.
All barbershops should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected prior to reopening. Disinfect all surfaces, tools, and linens, even if they were cleaned before the shop was closed.
Use disinfectants that are EPA-registered and labeled as bactericidal, virucidal and fungicidal. No product will be labeled for COVID-19 yet, but many will have human coronavirus efficacy either on the label or available on their website. The EPA has approved any product that has tested as effective against human coronavirus. If in doubt of the effectiveness, check the EPA website.
Disinfectant for immersion of tools, must be mixed daily and replaced sooner if it becomes contaminated throughout the work day. Disinfectant only works on a clean surface so clean all surfaces and tools with hot soapy water, Ship-shape or cleaning wipes (if using wipes, be sure to cover surface thoroughly) before disinfecting.
Contact time on label must be observed for disinfectant to work. Contact time refers to how long the disinfectant is visibly wet on the surface allowing it to thoroughly destroy all of the pathogens. Typical contact time for immersion/sprays is 10 minutes, for disinfectant wipes is 2-4 minutes.
Disinfectants used for immersion must be changed daily or sooner if it becomes contaminated (ex: hair/debris floating in solution or cloudy solution.) Disinfection is for hard non-porous surfaces, glass metal and plastic. Porous/soft surfaces can not be disinfected and must only be used once and then discarded (tools such as cardboard files, buffers, drill bits etc.)
Launder all linens, towels drapes, and smocks in hot soapy water and dry completely at the warmest temperature allowed and store in an airtight cabinet. Store all used/dirty linens in an airtight container.
The use of mask is mandatory.
Place a clean towel, placed over the face of your client while at the sink in a good way to protect their mouth, nose and eyes.
Minimize to the greatest degree possible, up-close, direct face-to-face contact with clients.
Remove all unnecessary items such as magazines, newspapers, service menus, any other unnecessary paper products and decor.
Wipe down all seats and tables; cloth chairs cannot be properly cleaned and disinfected, using a plastic cover should be considered.
Wipe reception desk with disinfectant. (Consider discontinuing use of paper appointment books or cards, and replace with electronic options.)
Employees should frequently wash their hands after the using the phones, computer, cash register and/or credit card machine. Wipe these surfaces between each use.
**Avoiding the exchange of cash can help greatly in preventing spread of virus, but if this is unavoidable, be sure to wash and sanitize hands well after each transaction.**
The use of credit/debit transactions is preferred, using touch/swipe/no signature technology.
Clean and disinfect all retail areas, daily, including products. Try to avoid client touching
products that they don’t plan to purchase.
Clean and wipe all door handles and other surfaces that are regularly touched by clients and
staff with disinfectant wipes.
Provide hand sanitizer and tissues for employees and clients.
Consider floor stickers and signage that provide guidance for social distance.
Placement of visible and appropriate signage to communicate to the customer that
thorough sanitation procedures are in place.
Consider placement of sneeze shields.
Clean and disinfect ALL restroom surfaces including floors, sinks and toilet bowls. Store paper products in a closed cabinet and provide antibacterial hand soap. Place trashcan by door. Remove anything that does not have to be in the restrooms.
Clean and disinfect all bowls, hoses, spray nozzles, foist handles, shampoo chairs and arm rests. Wipe down all back-bar products and shelves. Discard and replace any products that have not been stored in a closed container.
If available, wrap shampoo bowls in plastic and discarded between each client.
Consider asking clients to wash their own hair before entering the shop.
Limit as much as possible face-to-face contact with clients, and consider using face-shields by those employees providing shampoo services.
Clean and disinfect all work area surfaces. Clean and disinfect chairs, head rest, arm rests (the use of harsh disinfectants can damage leather chair, and cloth chairs cannot be disinfected, so please use a plastic covering).
Clean and disinfect all reusable tools and store in an airtight closed container. Clean and disinfect all appliances, sheers, clippers, clipper guards, clippies, rollers, combs, brushes, rolling carts and any other items used in connection with servicing clients.
Check to make sure all products such as lotions, creams, waxes and scrubs have always been in a closed container, if not you must discard and replace.
Remove and discard all single use tools such as paper files, drill bits and buffers, that have already been used.
Clean and disinfect all linen hampers and trash container and only use such container that can be closed and use with liners that can be removed and discarded.
Provide hand sanitizer at all work locations for employees and clients.
Consider station barriers between work stations.
Employees who are sick will be expected to stay home.
Barbershop owner/managers should provide training, educational materials, and reinforcement on proper sanitation, hand-washing, cough and sneeze etiquette, using PPE, and other protective behaviors.
Ensure break-rooms are thoroughly cleaned and sanitized and not used for congregating by employees.
Ensure that all sinks in the workplace have antibacterial soap available and paper towels.
Post handwashing signs in the restrooms.
Provide alcohol wipes for use at phone stations.
Be flexible with work schedules/shop hours to reduce the numbers of people (employees and clients) in shops at all times in order to maintain social distancing.
Provide Barbicide® or EPA disinfectant wipes, liquid disinfectant containers, and Barbicide® concentrate/or EPA approved disinfectant for disinfecting technical implements and work areas.
Consider discontinuing hand relief treatments as well as scalp, neck, and shoulder massages during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our peers abroad are also being heavily affected by COVID-19 and the subsequent closures. But don’t worry, there are several avenues of support for you and your barbershop to explore.
The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) provides financial support to smaller businesses (SMEs) across the UK that are losing revenue, and seeing their cashflow disrupted, as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. To be eligible to apply for a CBILS loan through Funding Circle you need to meet the following criteria…
Turnover of up to £45 million
3 years of trading history
Over 50% of turnover from trading activity (e.g. not from investments)
Loan is for business purposes
Loan primarily for trading activity in the UK
If you are planning to apply for a CBILS loan through Funding Circle, we suggest preparing the following documents:
Business bank statements for the last six months, which must show…
Account name and (where possible) the registered address. (These must match the business you create the loan application for.)
The sort code and account number.
All daily transactions.
A history of a minimum of six months (with the most recent being within one month of your loan application date). If you can select an exact date range, be as up to date as possible.
Latest full unabbreviated accounts, which must include…
COVID-19 support is available not only to employers, but to the self-employed, as well. You may be eligible for loans, tax relief and cash grants. Use this business support finder to see what support is available for you and your business.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada has launched a new program to support small business owners – barbershops, included. The Canada Emergency Business Account will “provide interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits, to help cover their operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced.”
To qualify, your shop must demonstrate that you’ve…
Paid a total between $50,000 – $1 million in payroll during 2019
The program is slated to begin mid-April, and to begin the application process – business owners are instructed to reach out to their respective banks in Canada.
More details can be found here, under the “Access to Credit” subheading.
Option 1: 0% for a term of up to 18 months, with repayment deferred for up to 6 months
Option 2: 3% for a term of up to 5 years, with repayment deferred for up to 12 months (for profit businesses)
Option 3: 2% for a term of up to 5 years, with repayment deferred for up to 12 months (for tax-exempt businesses)
Eligible Borrowers: For-profit and tax-exempt businesses in the City of LA with 100 or fewer employees that have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak and will make their best effort to continue or re-establish their business operations and employees
Business must have a Business Tax Registration Certificate with the City of Los Angeles’ Office of Finance that was filed prior to March 01, 2020
There is no credit minimum, however the principal business owner(s) must have reasonable and responsible personal credit history and an acceptable explanation for any derogatory marks
Bankruptcies and debt write-offs must be at least 12 months old
Businesses must show that historical profits would have been sufficient to service the requested debt and that they have been impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak
Primary business operation must be physically located in a commercial–use building within City of Los Angeles boundaries
All business owners who hold 20% or more ownership must guarantee the loan
A co-signer with reasonable credit and sufficient income to re-pay the loan can be included as a guarantor to mitigate weaknesses in the loan request.
For more details on the micro-loan program, click here.
Click here for a link to Denver Business Assitance Programs for information regarding grants, loans, local support, and taxes.
TAX EXTENSION, LATE FEE WAIVED! Denver businesses won’t have to pay the 15% late fee if they’re unable to pay their business taxes that are due in March or April.
In resposne to COVID-19, Denver has also launched the Small Business Relief Program, designed to assist eligible small businesses that may have had to temporarily close, have difficulty with paying their rent and utilities, or have had to lay off staff. which…
Prioritizes those industries who are most impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, such as the food industry, nail salons, barbershops, home childcare providers, and retail shops.
If your business is seeking a tax filing extension, you’ll need to apply – more info here.
The state is working to compile a larger list of local bankers, financial associations, telecoms, utilities and major employers that may be able to provide relief, such as:
Deferred bills, waived fees, discounts, no-interest loans and other support.
Debt and late-penalty forgiveness for companies and workers in order to help keep people employed.
Favorable credit terms for firms that encounter cash flow problems.
For Washington state-specific relief during COVID-19, check out this webpage.
There are also the Washington state “SharedWork” programs worth exploring. SharedWork is a voluntary business sustainability program that provides flexibility to retain employees at reduced hours, designed to…
Support business stability
Retain skilled workers
Reduce payroll costs
Be a smart alternative to layoffs
Explore training programs that develop workforce skills
For more general info on the programs available, click here.
COVID-19 Webpage – Provides infection prevention information specifically for employers and workers.
WAGE, HOURS, LEAVE
The Wage and Hour Division of the DOL is providing information on common issues employers and workers face when responding to COVID-19, including the effects on wages and hours worked under the Fair Labor Standards Act and job-protected leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act. For more info, click here.
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE FLEXIBILITY
NOTE: Check with your state’s unemployment insurance program here regarding the rules in your state.
The Employment and Training Administration announced new guidance outlining state flexibilities in administering their unemployment insurance programs to assist Americans affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Under the guidance, federal law permits significant flexibility for states to amend their laws to provide unemployment insurance benefits in multiple scenarios related to COVID-19. For example, federal law allows states to pay benefits where:
An employer temporarily ceases operations due to COVID-19, preventing employees from coming to work;
An individual is quarantined with the expectation of returning to work after the quarantine is over; and
An individual leaves employment due to a risk of exposure or infection or to care for a family member.
In addition, federal law does not require an employee to quit in order to receive benefits due to the impact of COVID-19.
The Capital Good Fund (CGF) is a U.S. Treasury-certified nonprofit geared towards combating poverty by providing small loans + personalized financial coaching for residents of Rhode Island, Florida, Massachusetts, Illinois and Delaware.
If you or your business is located within one of those states, you may be eligible for a CGF Crisis Relief Loan…
This loan ranges from $300 – $1500
15 month term w/ special 90-day deferment pay period
Uses include (but are not limited to) paying utilities, covering medical bills, paying rent, and purchasing groceries.
Canada is also taking measures to support local business during these difficult times. The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC) to provide more than $10 billion of additional support, largely targeted to small and medium-sized businesses.
We’ve compiled some resources + tools for our Northern business partners.
Apply for Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
Receive payment of $2,000 for a 4-week period (the same as $500 a week) for up to 16 weeks through CERB.
To be eligible, you must meet the following requirements:
Reside in Canada
15+ years old when you apply
You have stopped or will stop working due to reasons related to COVID-19
You’ve not quit your job voluntarily
You earned a minimum of $5,000 income in the last 12 months or in 2019 from one or more of the following sources:
provincial or federal benefits related to maternity or paternity leave
NOTE:For at least 14 days in a row for the period you are applying for, you will not receive:
provincial or federal benefits related to maternity or paternity leave
After you apply, you should get your payment in 3 business days if you signed up for direct deposit. If you haven’t, you should get it in about 10 business days.
For businesses, the government has announced the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy. This would provide a 75-per-cent wage subsidy to eligible employers for up to 12 weeks, retroactive to March 15, 2020.
75 per cent of the amount of remuneration paid, up to a maximum benefit of $847 per week; and
the amount of remuneration paid, up to a maximum benefit of $847 per week or 75 per cent of the employee’s pre-crisis weekly remuneration, whichever is less.
**NOTE: Employers are not eligible to claim the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy for remuneration paid to an employee in a week that falls within a 4-week period for which the employee is eligible for the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit.**
For more info on the Wage Subsidy, check out this page.
Small businesses and sole proprietors began applying on April 3.
Independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply beginning on April 10.
While the program is open until June 30, 2020, the government is advising borrowers to apply as soon as possible given the loan cap on the program.
Payroll can be calculated as an average number over the previous 12 months. 2.5x monthly payroll is granted if you spend it on qualified expenses
Countable payroll expenses: salary (up to $100k for each person), wages, tips, commissions, employee benefits, payment of state and local taxes assessed on compensation of employees, payment for vacation and leave
Not countable payroll expenses: salary beyond $100k for each person, FICA, federal tax withholdings, andIndependent Contractors
Your 2.5x monthly payroll “loan” is forgiven if you maintain/restore staffing and it’s used on approved expenses (75% needs to go to payroll).If you end up owing money back interest rate is 1%, no payments for 6 months (can be extended to 1 year), loan is mature at 2 years (this is new).
What is it?
$349 billion is being loaned to small businesses to cover their payroll. Most (if not all) of this loan will be forgiven if you do not lay off employees.
In other words, this is free money from the government to cover your payroll.
Do I qualify?
You are eligible if you have under 500 employees or are a “small business concern” (as defined by the SBA).
Each industry has different criteria for what a small business concern is. Having a venture capital investor who can control your startup might be disqualifying, unless the SBA changes the rules for what is considered an “affiliate” in their definition of a small business concern. You can read more than you ever want to know about affiliation ruleson the SBA’s web site here.
What is the maximum loan?
Take your average monthly payroll expense over the last 12 months (excluding the amount in excess of $100k for employees that make more) and multiply it by 2.5. That is the maximum loan you are eligible for. However, it can’t exceed $10 million.
How do I apply?
Loans are made through the SBA 7(a) program. Over 800 SBA-approved lenders are expected to be able to distribute loans.
You can call your bank or find SBA-approved lenders in your area through SBA’s online Lender Match tool here.
That’s an aggressive timeline. We wouldn’t be surprised if there are delays. The SBA distributed $28 billion in 2019, and they are being asked to deploy over $400 billion in April. Expect growing pains.
Do I need to personally guarantee the loan?
Do I need collateral to get the loan?
How can I use the money?
You can only use the money for payroll, health care, rent/mortgage/utilities, and interest on debt.
How much of the loan is forgiven?
The amount used for payroll (up to $100K for each employee), health insurance, mortgage interest, rent, and utility payments in any 8 week period from February 15th through June 30th is forgiven, as long as you don’t lay anyone off.
The devil is in the details. If you lay off people, it gets a little more complex (forgiveness is ratio of payroll reduction). If you cut salaries of those who earn under $100K by more than 25%, less debt will also be forgiven.
If you have already laid off some employees, you can still be forgiven for the full amount of your payroll cost if you rehire your employees by June 30.
What is the interest rate and maturity date fo the amount that is not forgiven?
The legislation mandates that the interest rate cannot exceed 4% and the term not over 10 years. SBA lenders may offer terms within those limits.