Covid-19: British Beauty Council calls on Government to provide industry lifelines

The British Beauty Council (BBCo), along with other industry groups, is working with the UK Government to present proposals for a package of beauty industry-saving measures, including a VAT cut for salons and Personal Care Emergency Fund to support businesses with cash flow challenges during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, as part of the #BeautyOnTheBrink campaign.

The Personal Care Emergency Fund will recognise that the sector has already absorbed the significant operating costs of complying with the “Covid-19-secure” requirements, as well as the financial impact of reopening delays throughout the pandemic due to being categorised as “high-risk”.

Additionally, a temporary reduction in VAT to 5% once beauty businesses reopen has also been called for, with the reduction aiming to counter the financial impact of social distancing restrictions and help business recover.

According to BBCo, VAT paying personal care businesses account for approximately 25% of all businesses in the sector and employ approximately 50% of the workforce. A cut in VAT for these businesses would therefore benefit a significant portion of those directly within the sector, in addition to the wider supply chain.

The Save Our Salons campaign, founded by PB columnist Hellen Ward and a group of fellow salon owners, is calling for an urgent reduction in the VAT rate for personal care businesses. Find out how you can support and get involved in the campaign

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

“Together we must do everything we can to shore up our incredible industry so that 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 that we are doing with Government to support the immediate, short and long-term recovery, and future of the sector.”

BBCo is in talks with representatives from the HM Treasury, the Cabinet Office and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) calling on the Government to implement the outlined support.

The BBCo has also created the hashtag, #BeautyOnTheBrink, and written to Chancellor Rishi Sunak pushing for the proposed industry-saving measures.

Beauty and hair have been one of the sectors hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic with turnover falling by 45% in 2020.

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To help you weather the storm while your beauty salon, spa or mobile/home-based business adjusts to the "new normal", we’ve rounded up the best resources to get you through this tough time. Check out our Coronavirus Support Guide.