On Wednesday, June 16, representatives from the Leeds, Grenville, and Lanark Health Unit came to Bridge Street in Carleton Place and fined local barber, Kyle Blundell because he was providing hair cuts in the lane outside his 103 Bridge Street, Towne Barber shop under an open-sided patio tent.
Blundell decided to offer his services via his social media accounts to try to pay some bills and because he saw patio food and beverage facilities in legal operation with proper Covid-19 protocols, as well as outdoor fitness classes. He began Wednesday morning after collecting over 180 appointments in a matter of a few hours after posting online. Both he and his clients remained masked throughout the clippings and he didn’t offer any beard services in the sake of health and safety. He opened his store-front shop in June of last year and due to public health restrictions has only been able to operate for about 8 months of the last 12. His newly established business didn’t qualify for any provincial or federal financial aid.
Only about 7 haircuts into the morning, he was ordered to cease and close operations and was given a $880 fine with the threat of a much larger penalty if he continued to service his customers. He stated he’d heard of hair shops in Toronto doing the same. The needs of his young family and continuing rent payments were the impetus for his actions.
Hometown News caught up with Kyle and he remarked how amazed he was about the positive public feedback and support he has received in such a short time. He’s gotten kind words and offers of money from all over the province and beyond, but he told us he’s not interested in any donations but simply asks his local supporters to come in for a trim when provincial regulations allow (plans are for a July launch of stage 2 of the province’s re-opening).
He’s received comprehensive media coverage and is very thankful for public support.