Wakefield-based Room 97 Creative has been nominated for the Barclays Entrepreneur Icon Award.

The nomination, by his local Barclays branch, comes after the three-salon company received support from Barclays through the Government-backed Bounce Back Scheme (BBL) in order to maintain the ability to trade through the COVID-19 crisis.

Established in 1995 by Marcello Moccia (pictured), there are salons at The Trinity Shopping Centre in Wakefield with two additional salons at Thorpe Park, Leeds and East Ardsley, Wakefield.

Marcello has also won North Western Hairdresser of the Year three times and is in the British Hairdressing Hall of Fame. As well as the salons, Marcello also runs an academy in partnership with Barnsley College, and more recently, launched an online shop for clients looking for haircare during the pandemic.

A franchise programme has recently launched and Marcello encourages his team to further develop their skills to obtain University degrees and teacher training qualifications. The funding from Barclays enabled the business to retain all jobs across the business during the lockdown.

Marcello said: “When I realised what the impact of COVID-19 would have on our growing business I knew I needed to act quickly to protect the future of our stylists who are highly skilled. Working with Barclays, I have invested in all three salons to ensure the safety of the stylists and our clients.”

Husam Khoury, Barclays relationship manager nominated Room 97 Creative and said: “it a great example of an excellent business that has been growing and contributing to the local economy. Working with Barnsley College they provide outstanding training for hairdressing skills together with real life experience and the business is well-known throughout Yorkshire for their contribution to the hairdressing sector.”