As the economic impact of the Covid-19 disease broadens, players in the beauty industry have closed down their shops across the country because clients have stopped trouping in to patronize their services.
The situation, they say, is having a serious drain on their income, affecting their lifetime investments and business plans.
Consequently, players in the industry, are calling on the Government to come to their aid with some stimulus packages.
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus disease in Ghana, a number of measures such as the ban on weddings, church services, funerals, among others, have been put in place by Government to prevent the spread of virus in the country.
The ban on these social gatherings, however, is biting the beauty industry very hard, as their businesses largely depend on events or ceremonies for survival.
Surviving on savings
In an interview with the Ghana Talks Business Ghana, President of the Beauty Artists Association of Ghana (BAAG), Mss Hidaya Abubakar, says most of the members of the association have had their clients, who were to have their weddings and other ceremonies between March and April, calling to cancel their appointments with them due to the ban on social gathering.
“This thing is really affecting the beauty industry because everybody is home and no one is working. Some of us have clients who have booked us for their weddings, but they have all called to postponed it”, she explained.
Owing to the above and the call for social distancing, she said, a great number of them are currently at home, surviving on their little savings, because they had to closed down their shops due to the nature of their work.
“Most at times, our job is 90 per cent physical contact and because of that we can’t also risk working and so we are at home just waiting for everything to be over”, she added.
Impact of covid-19; Losing huge sums of money
Membership of the association, she indicated, include make-up artists, hairstylists, retailers of hair, makeup accessories and all the other businesses within the beauty value chain.
All of these people, according to her, are losing huge sums of money due to the deadly viral disease, which is killing both humans and businesses.
Ms Hidaya, who doubles as Founder of La Monada Haven Beauty College, situated in Gbawe, says the situation is even worse for those of them who run beauty schools because they only receive monies at the end of the every month or a semester.
This, she laments, had forced most of them to lay off their staff because of the uncertainties as to when exactly the virus will be defeated.
But, in her case, she said, she has not yet laid off any of her staff, adding that she has however slashed their salaries by 50 per cent because they are not working at the moment.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Dormzy Beauty Parlour, located in the Mamobi Market, Adiza Alhassan, says the Impact of Covid-19 on her business is signifcant as she is losing money everyday.
She said on a good day she is able to make between GH₵1,500 to GH₵2,000, before the covid-19 pandemic.
But since the disease broke out in the country on March 12, 2020, she laments, her business has seen a downturn, as her numerous clients have stopped trooping into her shop, she said.
“Now business is not boosting as it used to be, our customers are no longer coming because there is no gathering or event for them to go unlike when the disease wasn’t around”, she stressed in a telephone conversation with the Ghana Talks Business.
Zulfahu Mohammmed, owner of Zurich Beauty, located in Darkuman, for part, says that her work has virtually become impracticable because of the absence of events which attract clients to her shop.
Previously, she explained, that is, from Tuesday to Friday, people come to her to do pedicures, manicure, then on weekends, they come to do makeups for weddings, outdooring, funerals, church services, among others, adding that she had all of her bookings for this month cancelled as well.
“I’m losing around GH₵300 every single day because I have had to close my shop due to the coronavirus pandemic”, she stated.
Ghana’s situation with Covid-19
Ghana has, so far, recorded 152 cases, including 5 deaths and two recoveries, as the last update yesterday, March 29, 2020.
And to contain the situation in order to prevent a further spread of the virus across the country, President of the republic, His Excellence Nana Addo Danquah Akuffo-Addo, has declared a two-week partial lockdown in Accra, Tema and the Greater Kumasi Metropolis.
The lockdown starts from today, Monday, March 30, 2020.
The announcement was made in a televised address to the nation late Friday, March 27, 2020.
This means that movement of persons resident in the affected areas will be restricted to attendance to only essential services.
Transport operators within the lockdown areas will not work for the entire period, however food vendors and some other state and private essentially service providers, including the media, are exempted from the lockdown.
Impact of covid-19; GH₵1b stimulus package
Meanwhile, the President has tasked the Finance Minister to seek the approval of Parliament to spend GH₵1 billion under a Coronavirus Alleviation Programme to cushion Ghanaians as government tightens measures to control the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
President Akufo-Addo says the amount will mitigate the impact of the Coronavirus on businesses and households and ensure that job losses are minimized.
“The Minister for Finance will immediately make available a minimum of GH₵1 billion to households and businesses, particularly small and medium scale enterprises,” he announced.
“Commercial banks are, in addition, responding to the Bank of Ghana’s 1.5 percent decrease in the Policy Pate and 2 percent in reserve requirement with a GH₵3 billion facility, to support industry especially in the pharmaceutical, hospitality, service and manufacturing sectors”, he added.
Furthermore, the President also announced the provision of additional relief, such as extension of the tax filing date from April to June.
Again, effective April 1, 2020, there will be a two percent reduction of interest rates by banks, a six-month moratorium of principal repayments to entities in the airline and hospitality industries by the banks
“All other sector credit exposures will be reviewed on a case by case basis; mobile money users can send up to GH¢100 for free; and a 100 to 300 percent increase in the daily transaction limits for mobile money transactions”, he assured.