CT influencers worried over potential TikTok ban

Local business worries as some push to ban TikTok
Published: Mar. 23, 2023 at 5:56 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

(WFSB) - U.S. lawmakers questioned the CEO of TikTok Thursday over how secure user’s data is.

A ban of the popular social media app could be coming and that has Connecticut influencers worried.

Sam Balija is one of those influencers. He’s the owner of Sam’s Barber Shop in Rocky Hill. He has nearly 350,000 TikTok followers.

He’s living the American Dream.

“I moved as a refugee,” Balija said.

He came to the United States with his brother from Yugoslavia in 1999.

“I went to school a little bit and then I started as a baker,” Balija said.

Sam the Baker quickly became Sam the Barber. However, not long after his business opened, COVID hit.

“During that time I was bored at home I started doing TikToks,” Balija said.

Even though his business was shut down, things were really ramping up.

“Every day we get new clients,” Balija said.

Balija spends a few hours each week filming content and editing it all himself. So what would happen to businesses like Sam’s if TikTok is banned?

“Definitely it would hurt,” Balija said.

Balija says he’s gotten well over 100 new clients because of his social media presence. Customers like Ralph Archer from Southington.

“I saw what they were doing, it caught my attention and I started watching more videos,” Archer said.

Balija fears if TikTok is banned he’ll lose business he needs to support his family.

With a ban looming, Balija has a backup plan.

“TikTok has made me improve other social media,” Balija said. “With my editing I brought those same videos to other platforms and boost my other stuff.”