B.C. businesses reopen with new protocols and costs for consumers

B.C. businesses reopen with new protocols and costs for consumers
WatchBusinesses, such as hair salons and restaurants, are reopening with new protocols, with costs from the pandemic passed on to consumers.

As one of the many Victoria-area businesses reopening, Artist Salon is facing changes.

The hair salon closed its doors, along with all the other salons in B.C., in mid-March.  Now owner Rocky Pruden is gearing up to reopen Thursday. He explains what the new procedures will be for stylists and clients.

“Get you over here, and grab a brand new mask for you. Pop in the chair,” Pruden said.

Going to get your hair cut will be a much different experience. From the hand sanitizer at the door, to the required face mask, clients will see the changes right away at Pruden’s Artist Salon, located on Yates Street in Victoria.

And these changes mean additional costs to clients.   “We’re building it into the cost of the services. Every service is going up by about five dollars,” Pruden said.

That could add up when getting a cut and colour, adding $10 or more to an appointment. But it is the new retail normal.  That’s according to the CEO of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce, Catherine Holt.

“I have to say that I’m not surprised that businesses are starting to build into their costs. There are so many unanticipated costs or new costs, let’s put it that way, in operating businesses now,” Holt said.

For restaurants and pubs, opening dining rooms at a quarter capacity is a challenge. The fixed costs are the same. But far fewer customers.

Holt said 20 per cent of Greater Victoria’s restaurants and pubs moved to take-out, but there’s little for businesses to do but pass on the additional expenses.

“Give the benefit of the doubt to the businesses, that they are absolutely doing their best to try and keep things safe for you. And keep the experience positive, and an enjoyable one for everyone,” Holt said.

WATCH MORE: Hair salon reopening begins and Victoria customers couldn’t wait to get in

Mary GriffinMary Griffin

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