NHBF welcomes announcement of re-opening
The National Hair & Beauty Federation (NHBF) welcomes today’s announcement that all being well the Personal Care sector will open on Monday 12th April at the earliest. This will depend on four tests being met:
- Vaccination programme continues to go to plan
- Vaccines reduce hospital admissions and deaths
- Infection rates do not put any pressure on the NHS
- New variants do not change the risk of lifting restrictions
- If all tests are met the government will then give one week’s notice to prepare for opening. The Prime Minister also confirmed that local or regional restrictions could be implemented to contain and supress new variants in specific areas.
The Current Situation
However, the sector is already on its knees as one of the worst affected by the pandemic, with turnover for many having already fallen by 45% since the first lockdown was implemented nearly a year ago. Full time employment is down 21% and as 60% of businesses entered 2021 with no cash reserves, they have nothing left to help them limp through to Monday 12th April. According to a recent NHBF survey this extension of lockdown means that 21% of all hair & beauty businesses will be acutely vulnerable to failure. *
Those Most Affected
The crisis is having a disproportionate impact on women and those in deprived communities. Hair & beauty business owners are 82% female with an 88% female workforce. There is a higher proportion of Personal Care businesses than any other sector in the most deprived areas of the UK. The closure of these businesses poses greatest risk to those in the local community who are most likely to be employed in these salons and barbershops.
Immediate Financial Support Needed
“We welcome today’s announcement of a clear date to work towards re-opening and that the sector will open as a whole, with the exception of saunas and steam rooms. We have been told that the information the sector provided influenced discussions at the highest level of government.
We also welcome the Prime Minister’s reassurance that the Government will continue to do whatever it takes to support the people and businesses through the financial impacts of the pandemic.
However, 12th April is still seven more weeks without being able to trade but still having to pay the overheads. So we still need a specific grant to support our sector through the immediate cashflow crisis to the point where we can re-open,” – Richard Lambert, NHBF chief executive.
The NHBF, working together with the British Beauty Council (BBC), British Association of Beauty Therapists and Cosmetologists (BABTAC) and UK Spa Association, has been lobbying the Department for Business (BEIS), the Treasury and the Cabinet Office for an urgent Personal Care crisis fund and a reduction in VAT. And we will continue to support the wider Personal Care sector’s calls for saunas and steam rooms to be reopened as soon as possible.