Will a $2,000 grant help barbershop owners?

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Help for barbers, beauticians and tattoo parlors struggling to stay open as COVID-19 restrictions but a bite in their businesses. Now, some of those businesses might qualify for grant money for $2,000.  But is it enough?

Man Cave owner Louis Germain remembers without fondness those weeks when the health department ordered the beauty industry closed in Shelby County.  

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“I didn’t know what I was going to do.  I thought I was going to have to move back to New Orleans” said Louis Germain.

Bills piled up and he couldn’t qualify for federal relief funds from the government.  Germain said “I didn’t know if I had to go into another career.  It was pretty scary.”

FOX13 showed Germain the news conference when Shelby County Commissioner Mickell Lowery announced “Our Beautiful Comeback Grant Program”. 

“Barbershops were closed for 5 weeks,” said Lowery. 

Brick and mortar hair salons, barbers and tattoo artists can apply for a $2,000 grant to buy supplies cleaning supplies provided they are operating and using the health department’s protocols.  

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Lowery said “we want to do what we can to keep these businesses open.  We also want to keep this business safe.”

Because the program only has one million dollars, enough to award grants to 500 businesses, Germain wasted no time filling out an application online.  He told FOX 13 cleaning supplies are expensive especially when purchased in bulk and used often.  Germain said “this is $25 for a gallon.  Hard to find gallons of alcohol.”

Germain hopes his Man Cave Barber Shop will be one of the businesses awarded the two thousand dollars. 

It won’t help with past bills but can help stay open and keep his customers safe. “It would take a whole lot of my shoulders. I would be static” said Germain.

Germain told FOX13 he had trouble completing the online process. 

Lowery said he has not heard of any complaints but has alerted the county IT in case there is an issue.

To apply, click here.