On Tuesday the Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a further £4.6bn worth of support for businesses in the hospitality and leisure sectors, in light of the lockdown announced by Boris Johnson on Monday evening.
However beauty industry groups have hit back at the finance plan, saying the measures don’t go far enough for the hair and beauty sector, who have endured an extending lockdown in 2020 and no sector-specific support.
“These one-off grants and will have to last longer than a month, as it doesn’t cover the fixed costs that many salons face,” Millie Kendall, chief executive of the British Beauty Council, tells the Telegraph. “The fact is time and time again there is no proper consideration of the overheads a salon has.
"We have documented it and shared it with government, but we have just received countless letters back responding with the list of measures made available to non-essential retail,” adds Kendall. In an exclusive Telegraph survey with the Local Data Company, it was revealed last month that 4,587 salons have already closed in the UK for good.
Part of the frustration is that hair and beauty salons can’t transition their services to online, unlike retail shops. Says Kendall, “we have a much more labour intensive format, we are appointment based, so these packages are not fit for purpose.”
The beauty industry has been particularly hard hit by the Covid-19 crisis, with therapists and salons incurring huge financial losses due to closures and lost bookings, coupled with restricted government support for the thousands of therapists that are self-employed, as well as larger salon owners.
“Thousands of UK beauty businesses have once again been forced into closure as a result of Monday’s announcement of another national lockdown,” says Lesley Blair, Chair of the British Association of Beauty Therapy & Cosmetology (BABTAC).
“The news is devastating to the beauty industry with recent surveys and research confirming that many businesses are literally teetering on the edge after being closed for at least five months out of the last ten, some even longer.
“Without further support, this lockdown will cripple thousands of businesses that have not yet recovered from the impact of last year. We urge the government to ensure that additional financial support is made available for the industry, as it is imperative for its survival.”