Fears some Cork hair and beauty salons may never reopen

Fears some Cork hair and beauty salons may never reopen

Cork salon owner, Shirley Feeney from Shirley’s Beauty Clinic in Glanmire.

A Cork salon owner has warned that many hairdressers and beauty clinics in Cork will not reopen without Government supports or incentives following the prolonged pandemic closures.

In Cork, there are 2,915 people employed in 1,028 hair and beauty salons. 

One Cork salon owner, Shirley Feeney from Shirley’s Beauty Clinic in Glanmire said that while no one doubts the industry will be busy for the initial phase of reopening, she is concerned with the sustainability of the sector.

“There are huge costs being taken on at the moment, bills, mortgage, equipment leasing, out of date products, I’m in business 22 years and I’m concerned - never mind new businesses that may only be up and running a short while.” 

Shirley said she thought that clients would have moved on and formed new habits, either visiting illegitimate traders or having home cuts, and said she hoped the Government would put in place supports or incentives to ensure clients returned to salons and hairdressers.

“Everyone needs the feel-good factor of beauty treatments and we need to make sure we get the support we need.” 

The Hair and Beauty Industry Confederation (HABIC) of which Shirley is a member, has this week written to the Government to highlight the devastating impact of Covid-19 on the sector across every county in Ireland.

It outlined the key supports needed to ensure the future sustainability of the sector where many businesses are challenged to remain as a viable going concern and which are further challenged by a huge increase in black-market trading.

HABIC has 2,500 members throughout Ireland and overall there are 9031 businesses in the sector.

Margaret O’Rourke Doherty, CEO of HABIC, said: “While we recognise public health and safety is the priority, our sector has been disproportionality penalised. Since the outbreak of Covid-19 and from a total of 6.8 million services, there have only been seven outbreaks identified in the sector.

“Our members account for thousands of employees with a significant presence in every town and village in Ireland who provide an essential service to the community. This is a crucial time for the sector and the communities who we provide our services to. It is essential that we are allowed to properly trade into the future.”

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