Rebound Maryland


Unemployment Diary: local salon owners share their frustrations

Unemployment frustrations continue
Posted: 1:25 PM, Apr 24, 2020
Updated: 2021-03-17 22:20:16-04

People across the state are scrambling, trying to get the help they need after either being laid off or having to close down their business. We introduce you to one mother and son, business owners in Baltimore who, like so many are growing frustrated with the systems put in place to help.

April 7, 2020

We first met Darlene Arlette Matter-Rains and her son Brandon in early April. They opened their salon, Passions Beauty Boutique just under a year ago. Things were going good, and then they were forced to close.

Since the restrictions to stop the spread of the Coronavirus were put in place self-employed, independent contractors, and gig workers have been unable to file a claim even though the federal government expanded unemployment benefits under the CARES Act. Workers deemed "non-essential" found themselves desperate for pay.

Unemployment benefits expanded, but jobless workers unable to apply

Maryland leaders recognized the issues and started to work towards a resolution that would help independant contractors.

Maryland Secretary of Labor Tiffany Robinson explains the system set to go live April 24th, "Our system, even though it’s streamlined and open to every type of applicant on the front end, it still does require some type of manual processing on the back end from our team. We have to make sure we get documents signed by the claimant if they want taxes to be taken out of their benefits, we have to contact the employer and get their confirmation of information that was submitted. So there’s still a little bit of work."

April 23, 2020
On the eve of the launch of the new system designed to help independent contractors WMAR-2 News Mallory Sofastaii outlines the system and how it is supposed to work.

Important details regarding new online unemployment insurance application

April 24, 2020
Many Marylanders, who have been waiting for some much needed financial relief woke up Friday, to only be frustrated. In Brandon Matter's first video diary entry he explains the obstacles from first thing in the morning.


Around 3:45pm on April 24th we got a video update from Brandon's mom and co-owner of the salon, Darlene Arlette Matter-Rains

Beacon Claim

April 30th a new video entry. They've made some progress, but still have many hurdles in front of them.

Beacon Complaint

WMAR-2 News' Mallory Sofastaii is staying in touch with people impacted by the close in business. If you have a Matter for Mallory, she wants to hear from you. You can email her using the form below, or find her on Facebook and Twitter.