Evan Perez, owner of Touch of Precision School of Barbering, welcomed clients back after North Carolina entered into Phase 2 "Safer at Home" restrictions on May 22, 2020. Photo courtesy of Evan Perez

Under Phase 2 of North Carolina’s “Safer at Home” restrictions, barbershops and hair salons are welcoming clients back into their chairs. But after two months of closures, many self-employed groomers and stylists continue to experience financial hardships. 

Atlanta-based Bronner Bros., Inc., the family-owned and -operated brand behind the popular Bronner Bros. International Beauty Show, recently launched the BB Beauty & Barber Fund to aid licensed cosmetology professionals who have been out of work due to the Covid-19 outbreak. 

The fund will provide $500 to individual beauty professionals and $1,000 to salons and shops with five or more employees to be used toward essentials such as food, rent or mortgage, medical expenses and utilities. Applications will be accepted through May 30.

Bronner Bros. canceled its in-person beauty and hair show for the first time in its 74-year history and moved to a virtual format due to the pandemic. The event has served as a platform to train and showcase talented stylists and introduce new products and services for Black clientele. The company says it attracts more than 30,000 attendees and generates $60 million in revenue.

James Bronner, senior vice president of show operations for the Bronner Bros. Beauty Show, says he hopes the relief fund will help in a small way. 

According to Bronner, multicultural barbers and stylists represent nearly 25% of all cosmetologists. Additionally, they contribute to the textured hair care category’s estimated annual economic impact of $2.51 billion. Covid-19’s effect is felt widely across the Black beauty industry.

“To many of us, barbers and stylists are like family. They do more than cut and style our hair. They are trusted advisers, and their shops not only offer a safe haven for our community but also serve as an economic engine for entrepreneurship,” he said in a statement.

Eligible applicants must have a current state-issued cosmetology license and detail how the virus has financially impacted their business. Visit blackbeautyrelief.com to apply by May 30.

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