To keep his small business afloat, Inskip Redman has gone up top.
Months after being ordered — like all other personal care services — to shutter his Danforth barbershop last November, Redman has had enough.
About a month ago, he got creative in an effort to survive.
“I’m on the roof,” said Redman, whose six-year-old shop was just barely hanging on. “Some of my clients pass by in the back alley and they give me the thumbs up and that feels good.”
When the pandemic began Redman didn’t think it would last this long.
Being allowed to open again last June — with social distancing and hygiene requirements — was a blessing.
But it was also short-lived.
“We were shut down in November. I thought I would’ve been back to work latest January or February,” Redman said. “It’s June now.”
The discussion about if and when Step 2 will happen is encouraging for the barber.
But waiting was no longer an option.
“I have heard so many stories of other business owners who have lost their business and my heart goes out to them because it’s rough to build something for so long and you wake up one day and we are going through a pandemic and you have nothing.”
Operating on a rooftop is not feasible for hairstylist Anastasia Kravstova.
Revenues for her Beaches area salon have dried up.
But bills continue to pile up.
“I have not been working since November last year,” she said.
Shut down for seven months, she is anxiously counting the days to Step 2 getting the green light.
“At this point, one week earlier or one week later, it doesn’t really matter,” says the stylist, who opened her salon in 2014. “The damage and the losses are so great that honestly, those couple days are not going to make a big difference “
The provincial government says it will rely on advice from the Science Table on when a re-opening is possible.
“When it comes to the hairdressers, folks, hang in there,” Premier Doug Ford said Thursday in Milton. “We are going to get there as soon as possible.”
Because of all the uncertainty, Kravstova has enrolled in college.
“That’s how scared I was to lose my business,” she said, “That I started thinking about plan B.”