A hair and beauty salon boss has launched a blistering attack on big chains remaining open while smaller independents are locked down.
Angela Carroll, who runs A New U Hair and Beauty in Inchinnan’s Old Greenock Road, is furious that some firms are allowed to stay trading, when none of them offer vital services.
She said: “Small businesses are paying the price.
“Lockdown should mean lockdown, not so-called essential businesses being allowed to trade freely.
“I don’t see much cleaning going in mall shops and they are jam-packed with folk.”
She is angry that chains such as Next, Dunelm, The Range, B&Q, and carpet shops can remain open.
The businesswoman is now suggesting she should start stocking items deemed as vital and get her roller shutter back-up.
Angela blasted: “Perhaps I should get some scouring pads, stock cubes, Christmas baubles, rugs or whatever comes under the bracket of essential.
“Seriously, this is a joke, with many small local businesses being shut down fearing they may not open again because we have made way for all the big boys to trade .”
The 53-year-old’s online campaign highlighting the disparity has gained huge support.
The Erskine woman raged: “I struggle to understand why the majority of big shops are being allowed to trade under this shambolic pretence of a lockdown.
“I thought essential would be supermarkets for food, pharmacies for medicine and garages for fuel and repairs to key workers’ cars.”
Angela’s salon,which she has owned for six years, is now in its second virus shutdown.
While virus infection remains high in Renfrewshire, she fears the lack of a tougher trading lockdown will mean numbers will not go down enough to help the NHS.
Salons were allowed to reopen in July, but closed again in Renfrewshire last Friday until December 12.
Angela added: “This stinks big time.
“It is small business that is taking the hit here.
“My cleaning and sanitising regime here is second to none and I have spent a lot of money getting it right.
“Everybody wears a mask. For nails, clients get their own packs, and we have disposable gowns and towels.
“There is no tea and coffee, no magazines and for every new client we put on a new disposable apron.
“But I am happy to close for three weeks to help on the basis that every business is doing its bit and we can get the virus under control.
“It is the smaller firms that are getting the hard stick and Nicola Sturgeon needs to look at what is essential and what needs to close.”
Paisley and Renfrewshire North MP Gavin Newlands sympathises with Angela’s stance.
But he said: “Unfortunately, the restrictions at Level 4 mean close contact services, such as hairdressers and barbers, have to close until the current restrictions come to an end.
“I would encourage any business affected by the current restrictions to make sure they are getting every penny of support they’re entitled through the Find Business Support website or by contacting Renfrewshire Council.
“Only essential retail should be open for on site purchases and non-essential outlets which open risk breaking the law.
“The regulations are clear about the type of businesses allowed to open for essential purposes, and even essential shops should only open where they are able to implement the proper hygiene and social distancing measures, in the interests of public health.
“Until a vaccine is approved for use and has been rolled out across the population, the unfortunate fact is we will have to continue to live with this deadly virus and its impact.
“There is light at the end of the tunnel, but we are still in a very difficult place and the last thing any of us want is for infections to get out of control and the pressures on our NHS to become overwhelming.”