Lockdowns take their toll

Alexandra Pavlidis opened a home hair salon last year and has had to spend a large chunk of that time closed.(Damjan Janevski) 250024_01

Tara Murray

Hairdresser Alexandra Pavlidis is struggling.

Since opening her home salon in Keilor Downs in July last year, she has spent more time in lockdown not being able to operate than she has cutting hair.

Ms Pavlidis said there had been little support for businesses like hers during the lockdowns, as she doesn’t earn enough to qualify for support.

“I’ve been in the area for over 25 years and it’s the second time I’ve started a small business,” she said.

“There hasn’t been enough support through the government or our council.

“There is no regard for small business, nothing gets thrown our way.”

Ms Pavlidis said she had been able to build up some clientele in the time she was open. But even then it came at a cost.

“I dropped the prices and took more of a hit, but it started to get people in,” she said.

“I wanted to give something back to the people on Brimbank who were already struggling.”

Ms Pavlidis, who is currently home schooling three primary school-aged children, said having paid for stock up front before the most recent lockdown, had left her in debt.

She said she was concerned for all small businesses in Brimbank as they have no idea when they can open again.

“At a certain point, I switched off,” she said.

“We need more financial help, the bills still have to be paid.

“We know we will not open up anytime soon even though there doesn’t seem to be any cases coming out of salons.

“Essential workers still need to have their hair cut.”