Although this news comes with an industry sigh of relief after hairdressers were forced to close their doors yet again when we went back into national lockdown on 5th January this year, it is still seven weeks away, putting small businesses under more pressure but at least there is light at the end of the tunnel now.
Tonight Professional Hairdresser spoke to Gary Hooker & Michael Young, owners of award-winning salon group Hooker & Young in the North East for their reaction to Boris’s announcement: “The news of re-opening is definitely something to celebrate!Through this whole lockdown the toughest part is the ’not knowing’ which creates so much uncertainty and anxiety as to what the future holds. Tonight’s announcement of the 12th April to be our re-opening date is fantastic – just to now have light at the end of the tunnel and to be able to plan for the future, creating a path out of what will hopefully be the last lockdown. We always thought this period of closure would be lengthy and can only hope that it’s worked in bringing an end to the disruption to business.
Hairdressing salons up and down the country will be ecstatic with tonight’s news and this time will have a better understanding of how to manage coming out of lockdown.
When we re-opened on July 4th after the summer lockdown – it was manic! However salons were great at creating safe and efficient working spaces for both their teams and clients which are still in place – so it’s like we’ve already had a trial run.
As an industry we are great at getting stuck in and making the best of any situation – I’m sure salons are ready to do this and see salon life return back to normal.
We are beyond excited and can’t wait to start contacting all of our clients ahead of 12th April to ensure a smooth return back to work – it’s super important to get your booking system and phone lines up and running a couple of weeks prior to opening your doors to deal with the majority of bookings prior to opening.”
Keith Conniford, Registrar/CEL of the Hair & Barber Council, having represented the industry at government level during lockdown adds, “Whilst not as early as I would have hoped, at least we now have a date of 12th April that our industry can plan to re-open in England. This includes hairdressers, barbers, beauty salons and nail bars. We are still trying to get the specifics on the devolved nations re-opening, but in England we now have a route out of lockdown when we can get back to work, looking after all our customers!”
And Richard Lambert, NHBF chief executive will still be pushing for more government support: “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 cash flow crisis to the point where we can re-open.”
The industry as a whole is still urging the Government to cut VAT.
While the hospitality industry had its VAT cut from 20% to 5% last July in order to help out pubs and restaurants, the hairdressing industry has received no such government support.
Here is how YOU can all help!
SAVE OUR SALONS provides salon owners with everything they need to find and write to their MP and lobby for this important tax cut.
At SAVE OUR SALONS you’ll find a directory of MPs with their full contact details – choose the MPs in the areas where you have salons. Download the template letter that sets out the argument for the VAT cut and customise it with your salon details. Then email and post the letter to your MP and share your letter on your social channels.
Go to www.saveoursalons.co.uk and follow the six simple steps to campaign for what is fair and right for UK hairdressing.
Find them at saveoursalons.co.uk
Follow them at @saveoursalonsuk