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Billings Salons Eager To Reopen As Bullock Starts Lifting COVID-19 Restrictions

The Agate Salon in Missoula, April 03, 2020.
William Marcus
Montana Public Radio
The Agate Salon in Missoula, April 03, 2020.

“It’s about time” says one salon owner in response to Montana Gov. Steve Bullock announcing Apr. 22 that stay-at-home and business closure orders will start lifting by next week. 

The reopening of salons has been very much anticipated by customers and salon owners like Dana Shy of Ritzz Salon in Billings.

"Right now my phone is ringing off the hook. Just … people have been waiting for this. Well, they’re more than ready," Shy said. 

And Shy says she’s been looking forward to it.

"I think it’s a little bit overdue," she said. 

It’s been a long time for her staff, who are self employed, to go without income and without unemployment benefits.

"I did fill out and got some information that even as self employed people they would be looking into giving self employed people unemployment but they kind of have them on the back burner right now," Shy said. 

The state Department of Labor and Industry announced Apr. 21 self-employed and gig workers could start filing claims for unemployment.

Shy says her salon is ready to reopen. The stations are already six feet apart and there will be plenty of hospital grade barbicide and other disinfecting products to spray down in-between customers. They’ll ask clients to stay home and reschedule if they are sick and keep sick staff home as well.

Shy says they’ll try working little bit longer days and more days so they don’t have too many clients in at once.

Copyright 2020 Yellowstone Public Radio

Kay Erickson has been working in broadcasting in Billings for more than 20 years. She spent well over a decade as news assignment editor at KTVQ-TV before joining the staff at YPR. She is a graduate of Northern Illinois University, with a degree in broadcast journalism. Shortly after graduation she worked in Great Falls where she was one of the first female sports anchor and reporter in Montana.
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