28 July 2020

A Wakefield-based hairdressing business has reopened after securing funding support from Barclays.

Room97 Creative Hairdressing three salons, all of which are now open, with more than 2,000 appointments between them from now until September.

Four days before the start of lockdown on 23 March, the business had opened a £350,000 store in Leeds, which then had to close.

Room97 received support from Barclays through the government-backed Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) to maintain the ability to trade through the Covid-19 outbreak.

Marcello Moccia, owner of Room97 Creative Hairdressing, said: "Keeping hair tamed was one of the main topics of conversation during lockdown, with the nation discussing how to style their hair at home, trim a fringe, and colour roots. I was on speed dial with many clients who regularly called for advice or in a panic because they couldn't get an appointment.

"While some services had to come to a standstill our online store boomed, and we'll continue to operate this while re-focussing on our in-salon experience, which is so important when offering hair consultations and new styles. The BBLS money was crucial to investment over the crisis period, and we've ensured our highly skilled stylists can return to a workplace that follows all government health and safety guidelines for hairdressers."

Husam Khoury, Barclays relationship manager, put together the funding package for the deal and added: "Room97 Creative Hairdressing is a great example of an excellent business that has been growing and contributing to the local economy. Working with Barnsley College, they provide outstanding training for apprentices, a real-life working experience, and the business is well-known throughout Yorkshire for their contribution to the hairdressing sector."

Room97 Creative Hairdressing employs 35 people locally and turnover for the business is expected to reach £750,000 in the current year. A franchise programme has also recently been launched.

The business also operates a hairdressing academy in partnership with Barnsley College. During lockdown, it ensured all 15 students had the necessary IT equipment to continue studying for their IVQ Level 3.