SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – It’s been almost one year since Governor Henry McMaster signed an executive order forcing close contact businesses such as barbershops and hair salons to close down in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
One year later, local businesses are still grappling with the impact this has had on their businesses as they’re still fighting to stay afloat.
Regina Benton has been in the beauty business for 38 years. She owns Regina Benton School of Cosmetology in Spartanburg, which has the capacity to educate up to 80 students inside of her building. She said the last year for her has been tough.
Benton said the school went several months without students after they were closed for 3 months following the executive order. The school reopened in June of 2020 and they’ve been fighting to stay afloat.
“When we started back in June, we didn’t have enrollments for a couple of months so we were affected greatly by COVID,” Benton said.
She said the school’s enrollment has dropped by nearly half since this time last year. Classes are usually filled with about 25 students and now they’re down to approx. 12.
It’s not just Benton that has felt the impact of COVID-19, other beauty schools in the Spartanburg area such as Palmetto Beauty School have closed their doors permanently citing financial issues caused by low enrollment due to the pandemic.
In our previous coverage, 7 News spoke with students enrolled in Palmetto Beauty School who were abruptly notified of the school’s closure and forced to find other options.
Benton said she’s welcomed many of those students into their school and she said for it has been a blessing for them.
“We were glad that we could help pick up the pieces and do what we could do. We’re thankful for those precious students that came. They’ve been a blessing,” Benton said.
As cases COVID-19 cases continue to fall and more vaccinations are distributed throughout the community, Benton said she’s hopeful enrollment numbers will start to pick up within the next few months.
“We’re building up out student numbers again and so we’ve been looking forward to this year and just getting a fresh start again and just recovering from that time period of just having to be shut down,” Regina benton, Owner of Regina Benton School of Cosmetology said.
For more information about Regina Benton School of Cosmetology, click here.