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SBA Helps Salon Manage Growth and Pandemic Impact


C&R Beauty Bar is a premier salon for curly and natural hair services. Since founded in  2015 by Rodricka “Ricka” O’Bannon and Chenica Racine, the salon has offered custom hair services, including cuts and colors, extensions and custom units. C&R also offers makeup, facial waxing and bridal services. 

C&R is also a nontraditional teaching salon that offers classes and seminars to meet the needs of its niche market. Ricka O'Bannon also is nontraditional. After earning an accounting degree, she decided to follow her passion for a career in the beauty industry. But in 2019, the owners needed guidance to better manage business growth. 

Solution: How the SBA Helped

Ricka and Chenica enrolled in the Louisville Small Business Development Center’s Scale Up Louisville, a 12-week strategic planning program. The SBDC is an SBA resource partner. The intensive coursework required them to examine business operations, market, competitive environment and growth opportunities. The Scale Up program taught them how to put that knowledge into a written plan.

In the dynamic salon industry, carving out a niche market can be risky, even with a great plan. Two steps forward, one step back is often the norm. Ricka and Chenica talk often with their SBDC coaches for advice on how to smooth out the typical peaks and valleys in the salon industry.

Successful Impact / Outcome

When COVID-19 struck in 2020, Ricka and Chenica applied for an SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan. The loan helped save the business and jobs. Also, C&R Beauty Bar received a COVID-19 Recovery Grant from Louisville Forward, the City of Louisville’s Economic Development Agency. Ricka later received the SBA Kentucky 2020 Young Entrepreneur of the Year award. 

In January 2021, Ricka and Chenica were highlighted by Spectrum News 1 (Charter Cable) regarding the PPP loan and the value to their business. Ricka provided advice for those who did not receive the PPP in 2020, stating “….people who didn't get (PPP funds) in the first round should definitely apply for it.” C&R Beauty Bar loan proceeds were used for payroll, utilities and personal protective equipment.

Passionate about her community, Ricka is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, an organization of college-educated women dedicated to public service programs that target the African American community. She raised scholarship funds, is involved in her church’s Community Development Center, and has done fundraising events for Big Brothers Big Sisters and River City Drum Corp. The salon has donated to the University of Louisville Booster Club, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture and numerous local nonprofit organizations.

Company Name: 
C&R Beauty Bar, LLC
Louisville, KY
File Attachments: 
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Ricka_OBannon_R_and_co-owner_Chenica_Racine_L-2 42Kb
Ricka_OBannon-CR_Beauty_Bar 955Kb