Grace Engel, owner of ClassiCuts Oasis hair salon, says she’s worried she may have to close permanently after the Government of Alberta announced extended COVID-19 restrictions on Thursday. (File photo by Advocate staff)

Grace Engel, owner of ClassiCuts Oasis hair salon, says she’s worried she may have to close permanently after the Government of Alberta announced extended COVID-19 restrictions on Thursday. (File photo by Advocate staff)

Red Deer salon owner worried business may have to close permanently

A Red Deer salon owner is concerned about the future of her business after the provincial government extended COVID-19 restrictions.

Grace Engel, owner of ClassiCuts Oasis hair salon, said she “burst out crying” after learning about the extended restrictions, which will keep the doors of her business closed until Jan. 21.

“Right now I’m just kind of living off of fumes,” Engel said Friday afternoon.

“I’ve been fighting against closing permanently during the first shutdown. Now I’m more in a bit of a panicked situation. I don’t even know what to do or what to think at this time.”

The government enacted strict restrictions on Dec. 8, with most such as a temporary shutdown of salons, going into effect on Dec. 12.

Those restrictions were set to expire this upcoming Tuesday, but government officials met earlier this week and decided to extend the measures.

READ MORE: Kenney extends COVID-19 restrictions until Jan. 21

Engel said the past couple of weeks have been tough for both herself and her clients.

“Clients are definitely majorly frustrated. I had people, starting the beginning of last week, telling me they need their cuts, they need their colours. This is a huge emotional and counselling type of service as well, it’s not just about looks. It’s hard on them,” she said.

It’s “unfair” smaller businesses have to close, Engel added.

“I just wish the government would see it from a more logical standpoint. We’re a small business where we’ve only got two people working. It’s hard to accept them closing us down when we’ve got department stores bursting with people,” she said.

READ MORE: Red Deer salons deal with last wave of customers before closure

Tracy Carter, owner of twenty twenty Salon and Spa in Red Deer, said she has “mixed” feelings about the extended restrictions.

“I understand this is a brand new issue that our leaders are facing that nobody has had to deal with before. I think it’s tough for anyone to decide what’s right and what’s wrong.

“But I’m a little disappointed. I thought there would be more adjustments across the board, like shutting down stores or looking at different areas to flatten the curve, not just keeping the same two or three industries shut down.

“With us being shut down for over a month and the numbers not really changing, it wasn’t us that was the problem. The problem is still somewhere else.”

The past few weeks, since restrictions were put in place, have been tough.

“It’s not only our livelihood, but there’s a connection to people too. You miss your clients, you miss seeing people. We couldn’t see our family over Christmas, we couldn’t see our clients, we couldn’t see our co-workers. You kind of just stay home and do your part the best you can. It’s been a really weird time,” she said.

“Hopefully this will be the last extension and we’ll be able to all get back to work and get back to taking care of our clients on the 21st.”



sean.mcintosh@reddeeradvocate.com

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