No shows hurting small businesses

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By Nick Seebruch
No shows hurting small businesses
Louise Gendron of Studio 101 (Nick Seebruch/ Seaway News).

CORNWALL, Ontario – It might seem like a small thing to a customer, missing a hair appointment, but for a small business that has been closed for months, it has a big impact. This is what Louise Gendron, owner of Studio 101 in Cornwall wants the public to understand.

“There’s always no shows in the hair and aesthetics industry, but now it is more important than ever that people show up,” Gendron said. “When someone doesn’t show up, you can’t fill that spot in a short amount of time.”

She explained that this problem has been exacerbated by the fact that hair salons and other businesses are still restricted to 50 per cent capacity indoors.

Gendron recounted how she expressed her frustration online after receiving a bad review from a customer who had previously cancelled their last three appointments. She said she had a flood of responses from other small business owners such as restaurants, massage parlors and other types of businesses that take appointments or reservations.

Hair salons, much like restaurants, were closed for months of the past year due to the pandemic lockdowns, and Gendron explains that this loss of revenue has left businesses scrambling to make up the deficit, with many small business owners having to dip into their savings or retirement funds to stay afloat.

Gendron has a $20 cancellation policy, but customers have to actually return and show up for her to collect on that.

“I feel like the public thinks that everything is back to normal, but it is not,” said Gendron, who explained that even despite special funding from governments to help businesses cope with pandemic costs, many are still hurting.

Gendron said that she sends out reminder emails and texts to customers to remind them of upcoming appointments, but often still gets no shows on nice days when some might feel like doing something else.

“It is hurtful,” she said. “It feels like some members of the public aren’t aware of how businesses are struggling.”

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