Harsh losses in Calgary’s service sector during Christmas shutdown

Safe Service: Gurwinder Sandhu, owner of Noor Spa & Haircut, gives a customer a side hair fade at Noor Spa & Haircut in Calgary on Feb. 1.

Due to the current COVID-19 shutdown, local business owners have faced several issues throughout December and January, especially with service-oriented businesses such as salons and fitness centres.

The second COVID-19 shutdown began on Dec. 13 2020, during arguably the most active weeks for businesses due to the upcoming holidays.

“My professional life was totally affected by the COVID-19 second lockdown,” says Gurwinder Sandhu, owner of Noor Spa & Haircut.

“We didn’t celebrate Christmas, only because of my barber shop was shut down and there was not any other earning source,” adds Sandhu.

Sandhu was a full-time worker at Top Touch Hair Salon, alongside four colleagues, where he obtained a recurrent clientele with his high-quality work.

After being advised by several customers to become an independent barber, Sandhu recently bought Noor Spa & Haircut from an acquaintance, and hired the existing employees from the location.

“After the second COVID-19  lockdown, we faced many problems like financial and customer losses,” says Raman Bhangu, a worker at Sandhu’s barber shop.

Bhangu explains that before the second COVID-19 shutdown their working hours were 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and now the business hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

“We changed the working hours of barber shop after the lockdown, because the work was very busy,” says Bhangu.

Employees such as Bhangu have received calls from 10 to 15 people every day, mostly inquiring for at-home services even during the second lockdown.

The second shutdown was unexpected, Banghu said, and after the shutdown the shop is trying to provide good services to customers to satisfy their needs.

Limited Capacity: Gurwinder Sandhu, owner of Noor Spa & Haircut, blow dries a customer’s hair at Noor Spa & Haircut on Feb. 1. Due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, only two customers and two employees are allowed in the space at a time.