GREENSBORO, N.C. — If you were planning on a trip to the hair or nail salon anytime soon, you’ll have to change your plans.

Monday, Governor Roy Cooper enacted his new executive order which permits the closure of several businesses including salons, spas, gyms, and movie theaters in North Carolina. Businesses must close by 5:00 p.m. Wednesday in effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus in the state.

Rhonda Pedersen owns Jade Aveda Salon in Greensboro and had already made the tough decision to close her store on Sunday.

“Yesterday was emotional. Today I have a plan and you have to have a plan you have to put one foot in front of the other and doing that it gives you a sense of purpose and I’m probably going to cry,” Pedersen said holding back tears.

She said it hasn’t been easy especially considering she had to lay off her employees. Some had been with her since the salon opened 14 years ago.

However, Pedersen said all were able to keep their health insurance during this time. She said not every salon is capable of doing that.

She agreed this will put a strain on all salons.

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“It is going to be a huge impact. Hair salons like restaurants run on a very small margin. It’s not a highly profitable business. It’s more of a business of love.

In the meantime, they are selling products like shampoo and conditioner through curbside pickup.

Pedersen said she hopes to be able to reopen the salon at the end of April, but is planning for the worst.

Its been a tough couple of days, but she said she’s trying to find the light in it all.

“What happens to our hair in the meantime is a little scary. Who knows! There’s going to be a lot of natural color out there. (laughs) If you don’t find something to laugh at, you’ll just cry. So you might as well,” Pedersen said.

She also has some words of encouragement for other stylists and salon owners out there.

“To all the hairstylists out there, hang in there! You're going to have so much work when you get back! You won't know what to do. It will be ok in the end. Well pull it all together and we’ll be ok,” Pedersen said.

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The Greensboro Chamber of Commerce said the best thing you can do right now is to continue to support businesses like Pedersen’s.

“The community can support their favorite hair/nail salons by buying gift cards for use when the executive order exists. Tip generously on Wednesday before those businesses are obligated to close. People can also insist on keeping their gym memberships paid even though they are closed since many pay through an automatic payment system. Every little bit helps,” Brent Christensen, President, and CEO of the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce, included.

The chamber has been hosting a “Daily Action Call” every day with experts on how to best navigate this changing business landscape. You can find more information on that at Greensboro.org/covid19. Businesses can also call the chamber at 336-387-8300 for help.

Christensen said they will continue to work with federal, state and local officials to be sure that the business community’s voice is being heard and our needs are being met.

“We are all in this together, and we will get through it together,” Christensen said.

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