A Barber Struggles Amid The Coronavirus Slowdown
Barbershops and hair salons have been hit hard by the coronavirus downturn and social distancing. Ron Raeford owns Raeford's Barbershop on Main Street in Davidson, where traffic really slowed down last week. On Saturday mornings, there's usually a bunch of men waiting when the doors open. This weekend, the chairs were empty.
Raeford thinks it could get worse.
“It's gonna be tough. It's gonna be tough. I think next week we might take a bigger hit,” he said. "Just taking it day by day.”
Raeford has been wondering if he should shut down, or if the state or local authorities might order him to close.
"The employees wanted to stay open. And they said we haven't been shut down by the barber board (or) the health department," he said. "The town hasn't said shut down. So we've got to take it day by day."
Officials in at least four other states -- New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Pennsylvania – have ordered salons and barbershops to close as of Saturday night to help slow the spread of the virus.
For many personal care businesses like these, a shutdown could mean going out of business. This week, The New York Times profiled another local barber, Zach Edwards, whose revenue has dropped way off.
For now, Raeford's barbers are still booking appointments when they can. And they're making sure the shop stays clean -- as always.
"We're doing what we always do," Raeford said. "We have sanitized the barber shop. Sanitize(d) the tools. We wash our hands."
As he spoke, the bell on his front door jingled.
"I got a customer coming in now," he said. "So it's a good thing. It's good thing."