Signature Cuts in Waterloo teams up with other minority owned businesses in Iowa to create a fundraiser to help minority owned businesses during this time.
The importance of Barbershops and Hair Salons in Black Communities is historically Documented and popularlized in the LeBron James HBO Series The Shop and Ice Cubes Barbershop Movie Franchise.
Waterloo Barber Russell Burt and his cousin Bridget Whitfield have teamed up at Signature Cuts and Styles to serve a large clientele. They both say the mid-March shutdown of Beauty Salons and Barber Shops because of COVID-19 has been difficult financially, but also because it has interrupted their life’s work.
Russell Burt “I think a lot of people were lost and and most definitely want their hair done to look good and get out there..it is tough having these doors closed for all the barbers and hair salons..
I miss my clients I miss seeing my family and friends just hanging out having good conversation making people smile and feel good about themselves.”
Facing at least a 2-month shutdown and bills to pay at work and home… Russell collaborated with another African-American Business owner….
Restaurant Owner Rodney Lewis of Rodney’s Kitchen for a Fundraiser…
RUSSELL ” Me and Rodney’s Kitchen got together –we wanted to do a fundraiser for the shop to help with rent and also help with his and it is noce the community came out and supported.”
Rodney Lewis “And we have been talking with all the other small businesses not getting the SBA Loans or grants and my thing is if the Banks and the SBA’s are not going to give it to you –have to find a way to go out figure out a way to make tha money on your own.”
..Helen Redding has styled hair in the Cedar Valley for more than three decades…her shop Nu Beginnings has been out of service for nearly 2 months..but she has been grateful to her Landlord for being flexible.
Helen “It has been up and down we have all the bills that will be falling pretty soon…people are bing pretty lenient with the bills that are due.
Redding’s second business, ARIZ a popular Bar and Lounge in Waterloo has had to come up with a creative methods to stay afloat. How about Drive Through Martinis
“Yes Yes Fridays and Saturdays we are actually able to do drinks on the go so that has been pretty good curbside–they’ll come up and inbox or send us a message saying what drinks they want to have and they’ll pull up and I will have my mask and gloves on and come out and deliver it to them.”
Small Businesses getting creative to make ends meet .