NHBF pushes government for more industry support

The National Hair & Beauty Federation (NHBF) is calling on government to reduce VAT to 5% and extend business rates relief into next year to assist businesses affected by COVID-19 trading restrictions.

The NHBF is pushing for more government financial support for the hair and beauty industry which has received none of the additional support measures offered to sectors such as leisure, hospitality, sport and the arts during this difficult time.

The Federation's latest State of Industry report, which surveyed between 5th to 16th November of over 5,000 professionals across UK hair, beauty and barber sectors, highlights the significant impact of the current government-imposed restrictions on businesses, and the financial and psychological impact on business owners and staff.

The survey showed that one in eight business owners (13%) have already made redundancies as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, whilst 56% could not rule out further redundancies without government support when the Job Retention Scheme (JRS), or furlough scheme, ends in March 2021. Fifty-three per cent of respondents had cut staff hours to save costs, rising to 61% in the beauty sector alone.

Two out of five (38%) of beauty salons said that they were not earning enough to cover outgoings such as rent, overheads, staff costs and stock. Across the hair and beauty sector as a whole, only two in five are breaking even.

Commenting on the results of the latest State of Industry survey, Richard Lambert, Chief Executive of the National Hair & Beauty Federation, says:

 “The responses to the survey starkly show that the future of hair and beauty sector is bleak without targeted help from the government. Without this, we could be approaching the next financial year with boarded-up shop fronts, significant job losses and a major mental health and wellbeing crisis.

“As a client-facing, service-based sector, the hair and beauty industry has been hit hard by continued closures and lockdowns without the ability to adapt and generate income through other means, such as online sales etc.  

“The Government can help the previously successful businesses survive through this temporary but difficult phase and get back on their feet by extending hardship grants, reducing VAT to 5% and extending business rates relief into next year. There also needs to be grants available to those who have not been eligible for other support.”