Beauty industry excluded from Covid grants: associations call for change
With beauty salons across the country being turned down for Additional Restrictions Grants, The National Hair & Beauty Federation (NHBF) and British Beauty Council (BBCo) have joined forces to send an open letter to chancellor Rishi Sunak, calling for support.
In January it was confirmed that beauty salons were eligible to apply for financial support following Covid disruptions. The Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) is accessed through local authorities, but hundreds of reports show that more than 60 local authorities are either rejecting or not prioritising claims from beauty businesses – this is particularly distressing given that beauty salons were among businesses with highest cancellations in December due to Omicron.
Richard Lambert, NHBF chief executive said: “Whilst we appreciate that each local authority is entitled to create their own criteria about which businesses receive ARG assistance and that funding will not meet the needs of all businesses affected it does appear that a significant number are actively excluding hair and beauty salons and barbershops in their area.
"This raises the question as to why – is it because despite all the evidence, they don’t accept these businesses were badly hit by the Omicron surge or perhaps because they just don’t think they’re that important?”
The British Beauty Council’s CEO Millie Kendall OBE said: “Having made a strong case to all local authorities as to how personal care has been impacted more heavily than many other business sectors, we would have hoped to see some movement with regards to the release of the ARG funds to salons.
"The Chancellor himself stated that our industry was not just economically valuable but also essential to Britain’s wellbeing. Whilst our previous work ensured personal care businesses were highlighted within guidance as businesses that should be considered for support, local authorities have chosen to disregard this. They clearly do not regard our industry as essential, or the local businesses that operate within them as worthy of support and we would like to know why?”
The NHBF and BBCo are asking beauty businesses to send a message to their local authority to ask why they are excluding fellow businesses from this much needed financial help.
Have you been able to access the support? Tell us in the comments.