Salon owners react to COVID-19 concerns in the Tri-State


EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) — With mandatory changes to some businesses to reduce the spread of COVID-19, those staying open are unsure what the future holds. Eyewitness News spoke with some salon owners who say they not closing their doors until someone tells them they have to. For now, they say they are increasing sanitation and hoping their main source of income doesn’t disappear.

“Being self employed, this is my livelihood,” said Kelly Casper with Kelly’s Hair & Nail Salon in Evansville.

“A week we could handle, two weeks out would be really pushing it, three weeks out financially it would be a struggle. I have no other income, I’m a single mom with three kids,” said Cheryl Erwin with Studio 1554 in Mount Vernon.

Both Capsper and Erwin have been cosmetologists for more than twenty years. Now, due to COVID-19, both women say the future is uncertain.

“Moving forward with the closures in Kentucky with the small non-essential businesses, we’re worried. We’re worried that we’re going to have to call people and cancel our regular appointments,” said Erwin.

Both salons deep clean after each customer and have put even more protocols in place since the spread of the virus.

“I’ve been putting a little break in between each client just to give myself time. It makes people feel more comfortable if they’re here by themselves and then when they leave they’re not running right in to somebody else. Everybody also here has their own set of tools. Their own file, their own buffer that I keep in a bag with their name on it so we don’t share things,” said Capser.

“We have a lot of elderly people that come in here, we have a lot of children that come in here and we just want to be safe. We want to be safe for everybody,” said Erwin.

For now, their doors remain open and both women say they are hopeful they’ll stay in business.

“If I don’t have my customers coming in, I can’t pay my bills so I rely on them just as much as they rely on me,” said Casper.

“I think what bothers everybody the most is that we don’t really know what’s going on or how long it’s going to last. Is it going go be a week, is it going to be a month; we don’t know,” said Erwin.

Both salons also say they have been turning away customers who have said they were feeling under the weather, but so far have had relatively few cancelations due to COVID-19 concerns.

Governor Eric Holcomb and the CDC have both asked the public to participate in social distancing and advised restaurants and bars to close down the inside of their stores. However, for businesses, like salons, were social distancing isn’t an option, no real guidelines other than increased sanitation have been issued.

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(This story was originally published on March 18, 2020)

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