CINCINNATI — Since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, thousands of Ohio residents have been laid off or lost their jobs, and then applied for unemployment. But many who are self-employed don't have that option.
One Hyde Park salon owner is asking for a change in state law to help stylists who are out of work.
“Their plans are there aren’t any and that’s the scariest part about it,” Megan Andres said.
When Andres opened Salon Two Thirteen two years ago, she named it after one of her favorite bible verses.
“It’s James 2:13 and it says ‘Mercy triumphs judgment’ and I just truly believe that mercy wins all the time,” she said.
She hoped mercy would be extended to the stylists who work at her shop. Normally, they wouldn't qualify for unemployment.
“I am basically the landlady," Andres said. "I’m not an employer, so each of them has their own space and they rent it from me.”
She's asking for elected officials to offer some assistance to the self-employed, whether it's in the form of a check or a zero-interest loan.
“I sent an email to the president," Andres said. "I sent an email to the governor, specifically, as well.”
On Monday, Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley appealed to lawmakers to help independent contractors.
“They need help immediately,” Cranley said.
Andres is trying to keep her business afloat while she waits to learn more.
“It’s not about myself," she said. "I can do the SBA loan. I can get the assistance that I need, but to think about my stylists and their families, I feel they look to me for some sort of security and I can’t provide that. It’s hard.”
On Wednesday, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear extended unemployment benefits for Kentucky residents who do not usually qualify, including the self-employed, independent contractors, freelance workers, substitute teachers, childcare workers employed by religious affiliated organizations and non-profits. Andres is hoping something similar could happen in Ohio.
To apply for unemployment in Ohio, Kentucky or Indiana, you can find links here.