New Help for Barbers, Stylists & Nail Techs to Survive the COVID Crisis

– Gypsy C. Gallardo for One Community Business Network

The beauty industry is one of the largest retail sectors in the black community economy, and the new social distancing rules have all but decimated the daily clientele of dozens of hair salons, barbershops and nail shops located in South St. Petersburg.

Dr. Mendee Ligon of Ligon Dental had the creative idea to support them with a campaign, calling on their clientele to pay them in advance for services to be rendered in the future.

Her idea is now coming to life. The One Community Plan team is set to launch the campaign – which we’ve called #Pay It Forward St. Pete.

Here’s how it works:

  1. All barbers, stylists and nail techs with a physical place of business in St. Pete are being invited to participate.
  2. If you want to participate, complete the registration form linked below .
  3. We will market the campaign through social media, print media, digital media, radio and video to ask patrons to pay you in advance
  4. We will provide a partial matching grant to participating firms that meet a short list of eligibility requirements (the amount will depend upon matching dollars raised from your patrons and other contributors)

This effort will also be supported by the City of St. Petersburg’s Fighting Chance Fund – a grant program announced this week by Deputy Mayor and City Administrator Dr. Kanika Tomalin as part of the City’s broad-based efforts to buffer small businesses against the impact of the pandemic.

Dr. Tomalin says, “This is an unprecedented time of economic hardship for our community. It tests our resolve and resilience and requires unfettered demonstration of our support of each other and the entrepreneurs who make such a difference for so many. This understanding is driving the City’s work and commitment toward this end. We will get through this together. And, through this trial we will emerge a stronger, more connected community that is prepared for all the future brings.”

Through the City-One Community partnership, the community’s beauty sector will have layered supports that help ensure our entrepreneurs are still standing and stronger than ever, after the storm subsides.

If interested in taking part, please fill-out this Registration for #PayItForward St. Pete.

By April 6th, 20 entrepreneurs had registered for the initiative (see the list here). Registration will be open until Tuesday, April 13th at 5 pm.

With questions about how the program works, please reach Dr. Mendee Ligon at or Antonio Brown, owner of Central Station Barbershop & Grooming, at

To discuss matching contributions to the effort, please reach me (Gypsy Gallardo, CEO of The 2020 Plan/One Community Plan) at




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