A beauty salon owner will shut her doors for good this month, thanks in part to a flagging economy.

Valerie Nearon, the owner of Eden Hair, Face and Body Salon on Reid Street, cited term limits and a lack of tax relief as contributory factors in the business’s demise.

The doors will close for the final time on April 18 and seven staff positions will be lost; they have been held by a mix of Bermudians and non-Bermudians.

Ms Nearon spoke to us yesterday about why she is shutting the salon.

She said the salon has been open nearly 40 years and that she is the third owner: “With the salon being short staffed, I didn’t have the bodies there to keep it open. With the six-year work permits unfortunately I had four people that had to leave around the same time.

“Last year, just before Christmas in November, we had two Bermudians leave. We don’t have the staff to cover the hours and if there’s no one there, it’s not going to make it.”

She said after 23 years of owning the business, she had to make a tough decision.

Ms Nearon has given her expatriate staff permission to look for alternate employment on the island.

“One person is going back home as far as I know and I’m supposed to have a meeting with the others. I have three Bermudians.”

Term limits have since been abolished by the new Government but Ms Nearon said another blow to the business was not getting a tax relief similar to retailers — even though the salon did sell products.

“I was trying my best to hold on until things change. It didn’t make sense to bring in new staff. It made no sense to bring in new people if we didn’t have enough hours for the ones that we already have here.”

Asked how she feels about closing her business, Ms Nearon said: “At some point, everyone’s life changes and yes, it’s emotional for me and I really don’t have a family member that would be able to carry it on.

“Although we did put it out there for someone to take it over, obviously in this recession it’s not viable. I have to look at all the expenses.”

Final day

Asked when the salon will close, Ms Nearon said: “The last day will be April 18 and then, whatever equipment can be sold will be sold. I should be out of there by the end of the month.”

She continued: “Twenty-three years is a long time. My only regret is that someone is not going to be getting a pay cheque. That’s where it’s at.”

As far as her plans for the future, Ms Nearon, said: “I sell real estate. I have always sold real estate. I am looking at something else as well but not at this present stage.

“I would be one a smaller scale. Who knows what the future holds?”