‘This business is my everything’: Richmond hair salon struggling to fill chairs amid COVID-19 outbreak

Local News

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — AIDA African Hair Braiding is one of many Richmond small businesses that are feeling the affects of the coronavirus outbreak.

Positive cases of the COVID-19 outbreak continued to rise as more tests steadily become available to the public. As residents in Central Virginia continue to adjust to a different way of life — Fatima Koroma, a stylist at AIDA, said business has been decreased substantially since the outbreak began.

“It’s slow and people are scared to come in because of the pandemic,” Koroma said. “Sometimes we have like two customers — three customers. We can’t even allow customers to stay long because of the pandemic.”

Koroma came over from Africa three years ago and has built her livelihood at the shop. She said the business usually sees many appointments and happy customers on the weekend.

“This business is my family,” Koroma said. “This business is my household. This business is my everything.”

She and her coworkers said the store does everything they can to keep doors open and customers coming in.

“We’re using our sanitizer,” Lateara Short said. “They are spraying and making sure everything is disinfected. I still have to get my hair done.”

Koroma believes the shop may close if the customers stop coming completely.

“If they shut down this business,” Koroma said. “I don’t know how to say it. It’s going to be hard for me.”

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