Mission Hill businesses cutting through COVID-19 challenges In The Cut Barbershop

Watch how Mission Hill businesses adapt and get creative through challenges posed by COVID-19 to remain open for residents and students.


Editor’s note: 

Mission Hill is one of the most rapidly changing neighborhoods in Boston, as more college students move in and often drive up rents and drive out locals. While the arrival of students has spurred gentrification in the neighborhood, it has also changed the dynamic for small businesses, and those local businesses that cater to college students have flourished. This fall, only a fraction of students returned to Boston as colleges expanded remote learning in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, reducing both the flow of customers as well as part-time employees who normally work as cashiers, delivery people or wait staff for local shops. This video series tells stories of four Mission Hill small businesses, beloved by residents and students, and how they are adapting to  the COVID-19 pandemic.

In The Cut Barbershop

Wellinton Garcia is an immigrant from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. He came to the United States in 2009 and has been a barber for 13 years but had just opened his own barbershop, In the Cut, in Mission Hill last year.

Before COVID-19, he said, the shop had a good start and momentum because there were not many other barbershops in the area. In March, In the Cut had to temporarily close due to COVID-19 because it was categorized as a non-essential business. 

“I was worried about the business, since it was new, we didn’t know if we were going to continue,” Garcia said. “And [I was worried] about the hairdressers too, taking care of the hairdressers [so that they don’t] go to another job or having to emigrate because of the problem we were having, but thank God we are more or less better off.”

Garcia organized a GoFundMe campaign to seek support to continue his business and to which many of his previous clients donated. He said he also applied to the city’s grants to support small businesses during COVID-19. Both of these resources, he said, kept the barbershop open.

For now, business is starting to pick up. “The students [coming] back to school have helped us a lot too,” Garcia said. “Since the universities opened, there have been many new faces. We have good acceptance.”



Love this series? The next business featured, Punjab Mini Mart, will be posted next week, Oct. 29.

Are you a small business owner in Mission Hill wanting to be featured in this series? Let us know at [email protected].

Videos in this series are produced by journalism students in a class at Northeastern University taught by Professor Jody Santos. See more of their videos in our Early Voting series.


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