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Surviving the pandemic

Pine Island Family Hair keeping customers, staff safe through COVID-19

By PAULETTE LeBLANC - | Oct 7, 2020

Pine Island Family Hair owner Marvia Cicchino. PHOTO PROVIDED


Marvia Cicchino has been on the island since 1974, when she opened Marvia’s Beauty Salon in Matlacha.

“After Charley, I came to semi-retire,” Cicchino said with a laugh.

Since she is considered a non-essential business, restrictions due to the pandemic have hit her salon particularly hard.

“We had to close for almost two months,” said Cicchino, “and before we even closed, our business was hit hard because it was during season and a lot of our seasonal people were taking off to go home, so it was rough.”

Surviving without income from your business may not be difficult for the independently wealthy, but for Cicchino and businesses like hers, help from family and the government was the only alternative. Although she was denied help from unemployment, she said Lee Cares did come through with a small grant.

Cicchino has done her best to keep clients and employees safe by providing shower curtains at each station and only allowing two operators to work at a time, as well as limiting the number of people allowed inside the salon at one time.

In addition, the salon is regularly sanitized, and air filters have been working in combination with the ventilation system.

“This salon is my only income,” said Cicchino, “which made it really rough for me, but I survived. In this kind of situation, not only do businesses considered non-essential have an issue, but employees have no work.”

For this reason, she said, it’s important for islanders to support one another.

“Our main focus here is to protect people,” said Cicchino, “not only my employees but my customers. It’s important that people on the island support all the businesses.”

Pine Island Family Hair is at 9848 Stringfellow Road, St James City, FL 33956. For information or to make an appointment, call 239-283-7000.