KUCHING: The state government has been urged to consider including hair and beauty salons, spas, photo studios, gyms, and fitness centres as beneficiaries of the Sarawakku Sayang Special Aid (BKSS).

Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) Women chief Kho Teck Wan said the plea was made in view of good compliance and understanding shown among these business outlets that are still being banned from operating their businesses since March.

“Businesses that are prohibited from operating during the movement control order (MCO) and conditional movement control order (CMCO) are those that require close contact with customers such as hair salons, make-up and photo studios, fitness centres and spas.

“The majority of these businesses are operated by small business owners who had complied with the government’s orders by closing their doors since last March,” she said in a statement.

She said some owners are also proposing several standard operating procedures (SOPs) to the government to reopen their businesses in the future.

“These business owners choose to close their door because they understand their roles to keep our community safe,” she added.

Kho expressed her concern that some employees of these businesses are being put on volunteer leave without pay to help their owners sustain their business and retain the employees.

“To acknowledge their sacrifices, I would like to appeal to the Sarawak government to provide a special one-off assistance to the hairdresser, make-up artists, trainers, sports coaches, gym and fitness instructors, photographers, and swimming instructor.

“The majority of these businesses employed skilled and semi-skilled local professionals. Since closing such businesses will greatly impact the economic recovery process, I therefore urge the state government to consider my humble request and suggestion,” she urged.