As a number of businesses, including big box stores across Waterloo Region, warm up to in-person shopping again -- local hair salon owners feel like they've been left out in the cold.
Hair salon owners continue to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars while waiting to reopen during the pandemic.
"The reopening plan, in my opinion, isn't really much of a plan," said Lance Neilson, co-owner of Element Hair, "They are just waiting around to see what the numbers do. That to me is not really a plan."
"A plan would be what they did with dentists, whereas they said 'look we need this, this and this in place and then you can open'. That's what they should have done with us because we don't operate that differently."
Neilson said the government should have come up with a set of protocols, to ensure clients will be safe when their salon is allowed to reopen.
"I have all kinds of barriers built, plastic around the desk and we've done a lot of different things, including [social distancing] markers on the floor. We did all that on our own," he said.
"All of those things are in place and all we need to have is the word to go and we're ready. The protocols are there."
Neilson said in the meanwhile, they feel unfairly targeted by lockdown measures.
"The majority have said that 'you should not be closed,'" he said, "Especially if you see our setup, and what we've done with it, you'll see that we've spent a lot of money to make sure the space was safe."
"It's a lot safer than going to any big-box store or anywhere like that."