North Vancouver’s Zazou Salon is set to reopen Wednesday with new safety measures in place.
Chairs will be two metres apart, Plexiglas barriers have been installed, and there will be no waiting room.
The changes mean fewer customers and more overhead. That is why the salon is charging clients a coronavirus surcharge of $7.55.
Owner Bruce Peters told Global News he doesn’t have many options.
“I know that some people are going to be annoyed by that,” he said.
“Some clients are not receiving it well. Some clients are going, ‘It doesn’t matter. I totally understand. I thought it was going to be more.'”
Whether it’s in plain sight, like a COVID-19 surcharge, or in prices that inch higher to reflect the new reality, owners are having to find new ways to pay the bills.
“Costs are significant for business at a time where they don’t have a lot of operating cash on hand,” Greater Vancouver Board of Trade CEO Bridgitte Anderson said.
“They have been already struggling for weeks now and so it is entirely possible that some of these costs could be passed on to consumers.”
The big unknown is whether the public will be willing to pay more to support local businesses.
At Vancouver’s Joyride Nail Salon, the decision to implement a surcharge was not taken lightly.
“This is what we need to do,” director Zarina Ahamed said. “For a small business like us, we cannot survive if we do not pass some of that fee onto our clients.”