The NHBF is speaking to the Welsh Government to ensure this funding is made available as a matter of urgency in time for the beginning of the country’s ‘fire break’ on Friday.
The UK Government’s previously announced support measures will also be available in Wales. This includes the Job Support Scheme in which the UK Government pays two thirds employees’ salaries (67%), up to a maximum of £2,100 a month. The Self-Employed Income Support Scheme will also cover Wales, which offers 20% of average monthly profits, up to a total of £1,875 for a 3-month period. The First Minister, Mark Drakeford has asked the UK Chancellor, Rishi Sunak to bring the commencement of these measures forward to Friday for Wales in light of their imminent lockdown.
Richard Lambert, chief executive of the NHBF said, “We understand that public health must be the priority, but nevertheless this is a massive blow for businesses that were already on their knees following the previous lockdown over the summer. Whilst we are pleased that the Welsh Government has outlined financial support for businesses forced to close, it is imperative that this support is immediately available as, unlike March, these businesses do not have the financial reserves to support themselves until such time as grants can be made available.”
The NHBF has continued to lobby the UK government and those in the devolved nations to demonstrate that the reopening of close contact services such as those within hair and beauty has not contributed to the current rise in Coronavirus cases. In recent NHBF poll, an overwhelming 94% of salons and barbershops in Wales had not been contacted via Test, Trace and Protect (4,719), with only 286 (6%) responding ‘Yes’.
The hair and beauty sector has a significant role to play in maintaining the overall health and wellbeing of the public. With it highly likely that the country will be living with Coronavirus for some time, services such as ours are essential to support the mental, physical and emotional wellbeing of the general public through this crisis. It should therefore be a priority to reopen the sector as soon as possible.
For more information and FAQs, please visit www.nhbf.co.uk/coronavirus and follow the National Hair & Beauty Federation on social at @nhbfsocial.