Shelby County announces $2,000 grants to help salons, barber shops stay open and safe

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Nail salons and other personal care businesses were forced to close during a part of this year, and even with most back open, they still can’t operate at full capacity. As a result, Shelby County officials have said they’re offering grants worth $200,000 up to $1 million to support 500 qualifying business owners through a new grant program called “Our Beautiful Comeback.”

In March, the county was forced to shutter many close contact businesses, including nail salons, barber shops and tattoo parlors, for five weeks. Since they’ve reopened, it hasn’t been the same.

“We have implemented fairly stringent restrictions on those businesses,” said Dr. Alisa Haushalter with the Shelby County Health Department. “Everything from wearing masks, to staggering schedules, limiting access to waiting rooms and having increased sanitation.”

For these businesses, it means more costs and fewer appointments.

Officials announced the Our Beautiful Comeback program Tuesday. It offers businesses the opportunity to apply for $2,000 grants.

But the money isn’t just to replace profits. Officials say businesses should use it to ensure they’re following the rules, including buying protective and sanitary gear.

“We want to do what we can to keep those businesses open. We also want to keep these businesses safe,” County Commissioner Mickell Lowery said.

That’s why they’re offering this money, and because it’s in the form of grants, they won’t have to pay anything back.

Businesses can apply on the county’s website: https://shelbycountytn.gov/3654/Our-Beautiful-Comeback-Grants

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