OH! What a saving grace
The establishment of OH! Hair Design Studio was the fulfillment of a dream come true for Anita Watkins. From an early age she had dreams of becoming an entrepreneur, because she wanted to leave a lasting a legacy as well as fulfill her purpose. Her dreams of becoming a hair stylist became a reality in 2005, she worked in a hair salon and as a traveling stylist, willing to go where duty called to meet her client’s needs.
In 2016 OH! Hair Design Studio was established and began to thrive. Word of mouth marketing brought in clients from both near and far, and Anita was living her dream, and then something drastic happened that no small business owner, especially a service provider was prepared for.
In March 2020 COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization, and in Alabama, non-essential businesses were mandated to close. As with many small business owners, worry and fear was looming around and hopes of survival were fading. With uncertainty of when she would be able to reopen, Anita began to contact creditors to inform them of the current situation to obtain forbearance until her business could resume generating revenue.
As a small business owner, forced to close her business and unable to generate revenue, Anita didn’t know where to turn for help. One day she received a call from her accountant, Turiya Wilson with Wilson Tax and Accounting Services, who gave her information on the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). This was just what she needed to be able to maintain her business as well as reimburse her employees during their downtime.
She went through the application process for both and was approved for a $3,800 PPP Loan and a $30,000 SBA EIDL. Anita stated, “my business is a huge portion of my family’s income, and without the funds from SBA I would not have been able to take care of anything, personally or professionally.” The funds were used to maintain rent for the business, utilities and most importantly payroll for her employees.
She was able to return to work on June 3, and although business has been slow, the funds she received from the SBA have helped to make up the difference. “I am appreciative that small businesses were considered and that plans were put in place to help us stay afloat during COVID-19, the SBA was a saving grace for my business and my family.”