Can mobile hairdressers still work?
With the introduction of a third national lockdown, all hairdressers, even mobile services, must halt business.
What happens if I had an appointment booked during lockdown?
If you had an appointment booked which falls into the lockdown period, it will have been cancelled and rescheduled.
What financial support will hairdressers get?
For businesses that can apply for furlough, the scheme is being extended to this Spring with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500. In addition, business premises forced to close in England are to receive grants worth up to £3,000 per month under the Local Restrictions Support Grant.
Also, £1.1bn is being given to Local Authorities, distributed on the basis of £20 per head, for one-off payments to enable them to support businesses more broadly. A Hairdressing Sub Committee has been set up as a branch of the British Beauty Council to push for a cut in VAT from 20 percent to 5 percent, as it has done for pubs and restaurants.
In comparison to the first lockdown which hit the beauty industry hard, Millie Kendall MBE, Chief Executive of the British Beauty Council notes, “We at least have a taskforce in place, and direct connection with government as well as constant communications”. She adds, “We didn’t have that back in March last year. The Prime Minister’s announcement mentions non-essential retail which personal care businesses fall under, and he mentioned an extension of furlough.”
Unlike other sectors within hospitality and retail, the personal care sector has not received any specific funding outside of that given to non essential retail businesses.
“We would like to see something tailored to the services sector,” says Kendall. “They haven’t been able to transition to e-commerce in the way other retail business have, and also they have not been able to offer any takeaway services as hospitality has. In leisure, for example gyms have transitioned to online courses/classes. You just can’t get our labour intensive one to one services in any other way but by visiting a salon.
“We are facing a crisis that will impact larger businesses as well as the self employed. We have lost 10% of our salons and over 60% of our businesses don’t think they will make it past April 2021. The current grants just aren’t fit for purpose and they don’t reflect the ongoing fixed costs a business has during a lockdown period.”
Luke Hersheson owns five salons in London, and is urgently calling the government for support. “We seem to get lost as an industry, so we need to ensure we get the VAT reduction, and business rates relief needs to be extended for another year. We all run of very little reserved cash flow, and are due to make tax payments imminently; this all needs to be deferred if we have any hope of bouncing back as an industry.”