Pickering barber says industry is neglected during COVID-19

Copied from Source: https://www.thestar.com/local-pickering/news/2021/04/27/pickering-barber-says-industry-is-neglected-during-covid-19.html 

"The provincial government continues to neglect the personal services industry throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, says a Pickering barbershop owner.

Custom Cutz Barbershop owner Shawn Lewis is joined by others, from tattoo artists to spa and hair salon owners, who are among those asking for more support, and questioning why their businesses have had to close while many others have been allowed to remain open.

“The past year has been super stressful, especially on the financial side,” Lewis says.


Lewis's Kingston Road shop has been in business for 13 years and he opened a second location in Whitby in the summer.

“It’s just sitting there empty with all of the bills coming in regularly,” he says.

Emily Hogeveen, a spokesperson for Ontario Minister of Finance and Pickering-Uxbridge MPP Peter Bethlenfalvy, writes in an e-mail, personal services business owners that were required to close due to lockdowns were eligible for the Ontario Small Business Support Grant.

“More than 100,000 Ontario small businesses have received a grant between $10,000 and $20,000, and as part of the minister’s budget announcement last month we are doubling the grant, issuing a second payment to all eligible recipients,” she says.


Lewis says while he has applied for relief for his Pickering location, he hasn’t seen any money materialize since he applied earlier this year, which includes CERB for himself.


Since he didn't open his Whitby location prior to March 2020, that shop is unable to receive support.

Besides, he feels the retroactive relief he applied for is not ideal."

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