A small business without answers

Mark DeLap/Guernsey Gazette Shelly McGuire, owner and sole proprietor of Sassy Hair Design has been between a rock and hard place with the Wyoming Department of Health shutting down all hair salons in the State. Because she is a business owner, there is no qualifying for unemployment.

GUERNSEY – Many small businesses locally and around the nation are searching for answers to the economic problems caused by the Coronavirus. Because of the statement issued by the Wyoming State Health Department and labeled Statewide Public Health Order No. 3, there has been a temporary closure of nail salons, hair salons, barber shops, massage parlors, tattoo, body art and piercing shops, cosmetology, electrology and esthetic services.

Sassy Hair Designs in Guernsey is one of those hit hard by the closure. After establishing the business four years ago, Shelly McGuire, the owner and sole proprietor of the business, is a bit concerned.

“I love Guernsey,” McGuire said. “My husband and I both do. When the directive came from the health department, I really didn’t know what to think.”

McGuire who said that she had a feeling as to the directive, it hit and was never really prepared for that reality.

“When they didn’t at first specify our business, I didn’t add anyone to my schedule a week ahead,” she said. “I had a feeling they were going to shut us down, and that it was just a matter of time.”

As for the economic side of things, McGuire said it’s been pretty devastating. The McGuires have gone from being a two-income family to a one-income family and they still have the building fees and utilities from the salon to consider. It’s no longer paying for itself.

“You know, I just leave it into God’s hands,” McGuire said. “I applied for unemployment, hoping that they would give us some kind of a break and I got denied.”

Because McGuire was a business owner, she was denied unemployment benefits. Now, she has looked into the help that comes via small business loans and federal aid. As to the “what ifs,” McGuire tries to steer clear of those overwhelming thoughts.

“I really haven’t tried to ponder over that too much,” she said. “I’ve been keeping in contact with people that I have to make payments to and most everybody has been pretty understanding. So, we just have to take it day by day. That’s all I can do right now.”

McGuire has left all of her customers on her books and has alerted people on social media, and hopes that this virus will end sooner than later.

“I definitely need the income,” she said, “but I don’t think I’m willing to hit that gray area of doing it behind closed doors, just because our governor asked us not to. And I want to do my part to do what is right.”

She says the community has been very supportive.

“We have three restaurants and I’ve heard several people say, because they can do drive-thru, at least once a week they’re trying to get down to one of the restaurants and order from there,” McGuire said.”

The directive tentatively will last until April 30, but the only certainty is that things are uncertain. McGuire again says that faith is what it will take to get through it.

The Statewide Public Health Order No. 3 sent March 24 from Alexia Harrist, Wyoming State Health Officer stated in part:

“Temporary closure of nail salons, hair salons, barber shops, massage parlors, tattoo, body art and piercing shops, and cosmetology, electrology and esthetic services. In an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), The Wyoming Department of Health finds it necessary to protect the health of the public by implementing emergency measures to impose temporary closures as described because the nature of these services poses and increased risk to the spread of COVID-19. This order is effective on March 25, 2020 and shall remain in effect until April 3, 2020, unless the Wyoming Department of Health revokes or extends this Order before April 3, 2020.  

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