Fairmount salon owner closing due to uncertainty amid COVID-19 pandemic

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Weeks of stay-at-home orders have taken a toll on many people, emotionally and financially. That is especially true for some small business owners finding it impossible to keep their ventures alive, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Elvira Aslanova, owner of Beehive Hair Salon is one of those businesses affected. Beehive Hair Salon has been open for about 11 years on 18th and Fairmount Avenue, and Aslanova says she's always done well, but the length of this closure has made it impossible for her to keep her business.

"For 10 and a half years, we were striving, we were doing very well," said Aslanova. "But then the pandemic hit, and here we are."

Once Beehive Hair Salon is emptied, Aslanova says she's shutting the doors for good. She says she's lost about $50,000 from being closed during the shutdown.

"We have no idea as to what is to come and the past two months we had to make a decision whether or not to keep my business afloat," said Aslanova.

In Pennsylvania, salons won't be allowed to reopen under the Governor's plan until the green phase. While Philadelphia is still in the red phase, Aslanova says, even when she is allowed to reopen, she believes the restrictions will be too tight to make a profit.

"All the things that we are obligated to pay will go back to their original amount, 100 percent, and we are only allowed to be booked at 25 percent capacity," said Aslanova.

No salons in Pennsylvania are legally allowed to reopen yet, but in other states like Florida and Texas, salons can reopen with strict guidelines. Pennsylvania health secretary Rachel Levine has said salons can't open here yet because it's impossible to socially distance with this type of hands-on service.

Aslanova says she has a new job at a different salon lined up, but it's going to be hard to say goodbye to her own. As an immigrant who fled the former Soviet Union, owning her own business felt surreal.

"You know I came to the United States 30 years ago and I wanted to live the American dream, start my own business, go on my own," she said. "You've survived genocide, you can survive a pandemic."
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