Wage subsidy keeps small-town barbershop open

By Tamati Tiananga

Back on the clippers after weeks of having to close its doors under Alert Level 3.

"It's the survival of the fittest and you've got to adapt, not stay the same. Either you adapt or you have to go back to working for someone else, " Barber Kingz owner Sarge Waikai says.

Hospitality businesses and hairdressers have had to close their doors in Auckland and Hamilton, unable to keep trading under Covid-19. 

"I received the wage subsidy and there was a 10k government loan. I accessed everything the government put out there and I am thankful," Sarge says. 

Finding an alternative avenue to make an income has also been a challenge but he has met and has now opened an online clothing business. 

Wage subsidy keeps small-town barbershop open   

"There has been a lot of assistance out there for our whānau and if it means keeping our whānau and I'm fine with it, at the same I do online retail with the support of NZ Post I have able to create some sort of business," Waikai says.

There are 30 new cases of Covid-19 in Waikato today. 
"There are some people I have seen on social media who do not want to get the vaccine and I feel, with the new rollout, it's going to affect our business dramatically, with people not being able to come in without their covid-19 vaccination," he says.

This week the Ngāruawāhia Barber Kingz returned to business, opening for normal working hours.