Barbershops work to resume normal business a year after pandemic shutdown

New Haven

WALLINGFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– A buzz is being heard over the elm city now that COVID-19 restrictions are being lifted. Barbershops are officially back in business, but one year later — how are they doing financially?

At Dino’s Modern Barbershop in Wallingford, the owner is hard at work cutting and styling hair. A year ago he was not so fortunate. Dino’s business took a major hit, due to the pandemic.

“I’d say 25, 35%. It’s a good chunk,” said Dino Fernicola, shop owner.

The loss shutdown Dino’s business for two and a half months. When he and others thought they could reopen last May, this happened.

Protests erupted at the State Capitol, angry that Governor Lamont delayed the reopening of barbershops and salons from May 1 to June 1. Nine months later business is now headed in the right direction.

“I wouldn’t say business is up, no. I think we’re doing well. We’re making ends meet,” said Fernicola.

And meeting the safety and grooming needs for customers like Nate Neville could not come a moment too soon.

“The locks were flowing for sure. It was down probably below my ears,” said Neville.

And the first thing that customers must do once they enter the store is get hand sanitizer and of course don’t forget about your mask.

“Social distancing is pretty tough when you’re giving someone a haircut. But as far as the people in the shop, we’ve had people wait outside, we’ve had people wait in their cars,” said Fernicola. “That would be the biggest change going by appointments… but we always did hand sanitizer, wash hands, wash our tools.”

Business is not quite back to normal, but meanwhile Dino can take that buzzing sound you hear straight to the bank.

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