British Beauty Council urging Government to provide industry lifelines to ‘minimise already-extensive damage’
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British Beauty Council urging Government to provide industry lifelines to ‘minimise already-extensive damage’

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We’re impressing upon the Government that we need to act now to minimise the already-extensive damage to our industry

A collection of industry organisations, including The British Beauty Council, are working closely with the UK Government to present proposals for a package of industry-saving measures.

These include a VAT cut for reopened salon and spa businesses, plus a dedicated personal care fund to support businesses with immediate cash flow crisis.

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the UK hair, beauty and wellness sectors hard, with businesses being forced to close for nearly 140 days of 2020.

In November 2020, data from UK Spa Association and National Hair & Beauty Federation surveys indicated that 40 per cent of spas and 62 per cent of salons couldn’t be sure business would survive until the end of the financial year, with almost a third of that number explicitly sure they would have to close.

Even once facilities reopen, the industry will have to contend with social-distancing, restricted customer numbers and potentially more government guidelines curtailing certain services and inhibiting regular operations.

The British Beauty Council strongly believes there’s an urgent need for targeted support in order to sustain these sectors through the immediate crisis until they can reopen and return to business as usual.

“We’re impressing upon the Government that we need to act now to minimise the already-extensive damage to our industry,” says Helena Grzesk, chief operating officer at the British Beauty Council.

“Together we must do everything we can to shore up our incredible industry so it can thrive again, for the good not just of those who work within the sector, but all those who benefit from its services.

“Lobbying for financial support is just one aspect of the work we’re doing with the Government to support the immediate, short and long term recovery; and future of the sector.”

Discussions are ongoing with the Government to advocate for an organised and full reopening of personal care, with conversations with representatives from the HM Treasury, the Cabinet Office and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.

Last week, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson suggested that the new rapid lateral flow tests could be used to help reopen areas of the economy that remained closed last year, such as nightclubs.

The benefit of this COVID-19 test is that it only takes 30 minutes and requires no laboratory intervention for results.

It’s been suggested the lateral flow tests could be used by spas, salons and independent beauty businesses to help them reopen as soon as possible.

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