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Self-Employed Hair Stylist Shares Struggles with Losing Business

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CARLISLE, Iowa — Up until the mandated closure of businesses in Iowa, hair stylist and salon owner Kimberly Meador was booked daily with clients and had a constant flow of income. Now, she is like the thousands of other service industry employees left in limbo.

“In the meantime we just are not getting any help. It’s been really hard, but we’re doing everything they want us to do and we’re trying and just not getting anywhere,” Meador said.

Meador owns AvaLayne Hair Studio in Carlisle and operates with two other stylists. She filed for unemployment after Gov. Kim Reynolds announced self-employed workers would also be able to receive benefits from the state because of the impact of COVID-19. However, Meador said she has been having difficulty in the process of filing claims.

Originally, she said her claim was denied so she followed up with questions about whether or not to reapply. Here is what she got back:

Email Kimberly Meador received from Iowa Workforce Development after her unemployment claim was denied, on March 30, 2020.

Meador said she understands that the department is overwhelmed with claims due to the soaring number of people losing their jobs from the coronavirus, but it does not change the fact she is struggling and has bills to pay.

“I have bills to pay here and bills to pay at the salon, so I have two sets of bills and that’s been scary looking into the future,” she said.

Meador said despite the financial uncertainty, one of the hardest parts has been not knowing when she’ll be able to return to her passion with the people she loves.

“I miss my clients so much and just living your normal life and being able to go to work and to be able to socialize and laugh and have a good time,” the stylist of 11 years said.

In the meantime, Meador said it’s been her clients in the community getting her through this time.

“They have been so supportive, the community and the clients, just everybody willing to help out. They want to buy gift certificates or they just want to help out with sending a little bit to help get us groceries or help do anything and that’s been so great,” she said. “I’ll just never forget how people treated us during this time, it has been very well.”

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