Arkansas hair salons, massage parlors forced to close feel effect of COVID-19 outbreak

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The Health Department is ordering all salons, tattoo parlors and massage therapy locations in Arkansas to close to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

“It’s time. I have a physician that has been urging us to move in this direction for over a week now,” Jessica Mylonas said.

Jessica Mylonas is a hairstylist at Chopped Salon in Argenta. Despite being temporarily out of work… she considers herself lucky.

“I actually just shut my books down last week,” she said.  “I’m married, and I have a second income in my house and we don’t have children.”

Most hairstylists like her cannot file for unemployment because they are self-employed and manage their own businesses.

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“Basically, we don’t have any other income unless we have other sources of income,” Mylonas said.

This is why she is encouraging others to help others when they can. Buying gift cards can really help out.

“I know most of my friends who are servers, single, my friends who don’t have a second income in their house are really, really in dire strains right now,” she said.

A small amount can go a long way.

“Personally, while this is going to put a lot of financial strain on us, I’m working really hard to do what I can to support my friends. Even if that means sending a Venmo of 20 bucks to my friends,” she said.

Dawn Eick is the owner of Copper Well Retreat in West Little Rock.

“It’s a surreal thing to have to shut it down,” she said.

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Monday one of her clients stepped in to help out.

“She basically bought two-thousand dollars’ worth of gift cards. Her intention is to help us get through this zero-revenue time,” Eick said.

However, she still had to make to difficult decision to lay off her employees for the time being.

“To try and get the income flowing in quickly [with unemployment]. That was a big concern for us,” Eick said.

She plans on hiring these employees back once this all passes.

“I just encourage everybody to look out for each other and if you have anything extra, share with those people that you know that don’t. What we have to do is stay healthy,” Mylonas said.

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