- “Chwilówki” loans are essential. For many people in the industry today is the only way to survive - says Karolina Wołodkowicz. She runs an eyelash care salon in Lębork. The monthly costs of the salon is 2,900 PLN. She has not earned any money since March 12 when the day school and kindergarten stopped working. - I received a lot of calls about cancellations. I closed the salon and started to look after my daughter - she says.
In Poland there are approximately 31,000 hair salons, 20,000 salons with cosmetic services, 5,000 spa salons, 1,000 tattoo shops. In total, almost 70,000 companies. To this number we have to add barbers, masseurs, trainers and others whose work involves direct contact with clients which is today risky due to coronavirus.
Because of the epidemic many of us stayed at home, often switching to remote work. At the same time the owners and employees of these businesses - a total of about 300,000 people - lost their source of income.
Ocalmy 300 tys. miejsc pracy. Każdy może pomóc. Akcja Gazety Wyborczej i Booksy. Gazeta Wyborcza
They do not feel that they have support in the government. - The government avoids entering the beauty industry on the list of especially affected sectors. How should I work with my clients and do their nails when I have to keep 2 meters distance? - asks Paulina Kowalczuk, the owner of a manicure salon from Wrocław.
In the US, beauty companies have on average saving equivalent of 21 working days. In Poland this amount is probably even lower, and the crisis has been going on for two weeks. So about right now or soon decisions will be made to dismiss employees or to close the salons.
The slogan of "Wyborcza" is "There is no freedom without solidarity." Today, the need for mutual solidarity is extremely strong.
Therefore, together with the Polish start-up Booksy, the owner of the application for making appointments (1 million users in Poland), we are starting the "Solidarity 2020" campaign. We ask you to donate to entrepreneurs who find themselves in an extremely difficult position.
- I am afraid that this difficult time will last longer for this industry than for the rest of society. Even when the world begins to return to normal, people will start to go out to work and do shopping, they will be very careful for a long time, still limiting interpersonal relationships, including with cautious approach to services related to direct contact - says Stefan Batory, Head of Booksy .
This is not a prepayment, it is a simple gesture of solidarity, thanks to which we can have somewhere to return when the epidemic ends.
Such help is priceless. For Karolina Wołodkowicz, every zloty will be worth its weight in gold. - I just spent all my savings, seven thousand zlotys, on renovating the salon. I don't know what I would do without my parents’ support. The best time was ahead of me and the worst came, he says.
Journalists of the local editors of "Gazeta Wyborcza" talk with the owners of hotels, hair salons, and fitness clubs.
SOLIDARNI 2020 - BIAŁYSTOK
Koronawirus. Pandemia uderza w małych przedsiębiorców. Na zdjęciu białostocka fryzjerka Karolina Wicińska Fot. Agnieszka Sadowska / Agencja Wyborcza.pl
- We have zero income at the moment. I try to survive somehow with savings. However, how long can you afford it? It's hard, we're all terrified. What's next? - says Białystok hairdresser Karolina Wicińska .
SOLIDARNI 2020 - BYDGOSZCZ
Ewelina Ziółkowska prowadzi salon fryzjerski na bydgoskim Górzyskowie Fot. Roman Bosiacki / Agencja Gazeta
"Everything the government introduces to help in time of coronavirus comes too late." I need to know now what to do with employees: whether to give them notice, or maybe there will be a way to provide them with remuneration - says Ewelina Ziółkowska, owner of the Salon Matrix hair salon in Bydgoszcz .
SOLIDARNI 2020 - KATOWICE
Martyna Sury-Kiernicka od sześciu lat jest właścicielką salonu NOIR Kosmetologia i Medycyna Estetyczna w Katowicach Fot. Grzegorz Celejewski / Agencja Gazeta
- We're getting ready for the worst. People were out of work overnight. Several salons have already declared bankruptcy, but I can't imagine such a scenario. This work and this salon are my whole life - says Martyna Sury-Kiernicka .
SOLIDARNI 2020 - KIELCE
Kielce, 25 marca 2020. Piotr Blicharski, właściciel klubu fitness Endorfina Platinium Fot. Paweł Małecki / Agencja Gazeta
- It is also a huge blow to our industry. If the situation lasts longer, many of companies may fall - says Piotr Blicharski, owner of the Endorfina Platinium fitness club .
SOLIDARNI 2020 - KRAKÓW
Salon fryzjerski Tommy De Palma Fot. Jakub Porzycki / Agencja Gazeta
Most customers have received the message about the closure with understanding, realizing that it is about the safety of us all - says Tomasz Jasiok, owner of the hair salon Tommy De Palma.
SOLIDARNI 2020 - LUBLIN
Fot. Jakub Orzechowski / Agencja Gazeta
- It wasn't so hard even when I returned to work four months after giving birth to twins. I knew then that I could do it. Now I don't know what will happen next - says Marta Kamińska, a beautician who runs her salon in the center of Lublin .
SOLIDARNI 2020 - ŁÓDŹ
- Wygląda na to, że pracownika powinnam więc zwolnić. Ale nie chcę tego robić. Ta dziewczyna pracuje ze mną już siedem lat - mówi Marzena Matusiak, której salon fryzjerski musiała zamknąć ze względu na epidemię koronawirusa. Fot. Tomasz Stańczak / Agencja Gazeta
- Looks like I should fire an employee. But I don't want to do that. This girl has been working with me for seven years - says Marzena Matusiak, whose hair salon had to close due to the coronavirus epidemic. Fig. Tomasz Stańczak / Agencja Gazeta
- I can take advantage of not paying ZUS for three months. But that's not all, because there are other payments - says Marzena Matusiak, the owner of the Wicherek hair salon in Łódź. It survived the reconstruction of Fabryczny street and renovation of Kiliński. Due to an epidemic, she had to close it. "Who wants to go to a hairdresser at such times?"
SOLIDARNI 2020 - OLSZTYN
Sabina i Konrad Grzanowicz, właściciele zakładu fryzjerskiego w Olsztynie, który odczuł konsekwencje epidemii koronawirusa Fot. Arkadiusz Stankiewicz / Agencja Gazeta
Sabina and Konrad Grzanowicz, owners of a hairdresser in Olsztyn, who suffered the consequences of the coronavirus epidemic Photo Arkadiusz Stankiewicz / Agencja Gazeta
Large companies can stop production, but the smallest ones have the biggest problems. - We have survived many crises. We'll survive the coronavirus outbreak too. But now we need support - says Andrzej Matracki, a hairdresser from Olsztyn .
SOLIDARNI 2020 - PŁOCK
Krystyna Lewandowska Fot. Piotr Hejke / Agencja Gazeta
The coronavirus outbreak is ruining business. After the pandemic will end we can expect a bailiff, the world collapses on our heads. People can't stand it. After all, our lives will change radically. For worse. A lot of people will lose their jobs, we will shut ourselves up at all, this isolation will be much longer than the epidemic. That is what Krystyna Lewandowska says, her shop situated in the shopping center was closed overnight .
SOLIDARNI 2020 - POZNAŃ
Fot. Piotr Skornicki / Agencja Gazeta
They make a shop out of a pub. Or they still cook exquisite dishes that the waiter brings to the door. And the hairdresser not only cuts, but also makes people aware of the threat of coronavirus. The hairdresser from Jeżyce says: - I am trying to survive, I do not know if it will work .
SOLIDARNI 2020 - RZESZÓW
Małgorzata Ryczko, właścicielka salonu kosmetycznego Gosia ArtVisage Fot. Patryk Ogorzałek / Agencja Gazeta
Małgorzata Ryczko, owner of the Gosia ArtVisage beauty salon . Patryk Ogorzałek / Agencja Gazeta
Customers are postponing makeup for May and June. - I live on my savings I saved for a wedding - 26-year-old Gosia, a beautician from Rzeszów, is afraid for the future. Will her small business survive the epidemic?
SOLIDARNI 2020 - SZCZECIN
Kosmetolog Agnieszka Sadziak Fot. Cezary Aszkiełowicz / Agencja Gazeta
Cosmetologist Agnieszka Sadziak Photo Cezary Aszkiełowicz / Agencja Gazeta
Bad time for beauty salons. A beautiful face must wait. Treatments are too risky. - For now, I do not allow myself to think that you may need to close the salon - says cosmetologist Agnieszka Sadziak .
SOLIDARNI 2020 - TORUŃ
Anna Gaca, właścicielka salonu kosmetycznego Sakura przy ul. Strzałowej 8b w Toruniu fot. nadesłane
Anna Gaca, owner of the Sakura beauty salon at ul. Strzałowa 8b in Toruń photo sent
- I had about 40 clients a week. Now I do not earn anything, and the salon still generates costs - says Anna Gaca, the owner of the Sakura beauty salon in Toruń .
SOLIDARNI 2020 - TRÓJMIASTO
Fot. Michał Ryniak / Agencja Gazeta
Fig. Michał Ryniak / Agencja Gazeta
- I do what I can. But many of us may not survive. We need financial support. That the ZUS (Social Security Office) contributions would not be deferred and that they would be redeemed. And that we would have money to pay our salary - says Piotr Kunderak, owner of a hair salon in Gdańsk .
SOLIDARNI 2020 - WARSAW
Fot. Maciek Jaźwiecki / Agencja Gazeta
Fig. Maciek Jaźwiecki / Agencja Gazeta
Robert employs 14 people, Małgorzata and Dariusz five, and Aleksandra one. What connects them? If the coronavirus situation will stabilize within a few weeks - their companies will survive. If the epidemic lasts longer - probably not .
SOLIDARNI 2020 - WROCŁAW
Branża beauty odniosła wielkie straty podczas walki z epidemią koronawirusa Fot. Fot . Krzysztof Ćwik / Agencja Gazeta
The beauty industry suffered great losses while fighting the coronavirus epidemic . Photo Krzysztof Ćwik / Agencja Gazeta
Over 131 thousand premises from the cosmetics and hairdressing industry are waiting for the government's decision to be included on the list of sectors "particularly affected" by the coronavirus pandemic. - We don't know how to function without the decision of the Chief Sanitary Inspectorate - they complain. "The government is not interested in us."
SOLIDARNI 2020 - ZIELONA GÓRA
Fot. Władysław Czulak / Agencja Gazeta
- If the situation does not change in April, I will have to give employees notice, otherwise I will not survive it - says Krzysztof Olszowy, the owner of the Amadeus hotel in Zielona Góra. And he adds: - Due to coronavirus, half of small businesses in Poland may fail .
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