The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has today outlined the Government’s spending review, dealing a tough blow to already struggling salons and barbershops throughout the hair and beauty sector.
Today’s announcement confirmed an increase in the National Living Wage next year to £8.91 an hour and extended the increase to include those aged 23 and over. Without any other financial support for our sector this is another financial obstacle for businesses trying to recover and stay afloat in the current pandemic.
Richard Lambert, Chief Executive of the NHBF said “Whilst we agree that employees need to be paid a fair wage, ultimately we need businesses to be around in order to pay staff salaries in the first place. Businesses owners have had a really tough time this year, with many receiving little to no individual support whilst their staff have been assisted by the furlough scheme. The Government should be supporting these businesses to remain operational rather than increasing the burdens that they face at such a fragile time.”
He continues, “Hair and beauty has received none of the additional support measures that other sectors, such as leisure and hospitality, sport and the arts have been offered during this difficult time. As an industry we contribute over £27 billion to the UK economy (more than music, film or car industries) and so we must stop being overlooked in this way. We will continue to push the government for further financial help for hair and beauty businesses.”
A recent report by NHBF has found that salons in the UK are struggling to meet day to day costs despite the additional help from the furlough scheme, which pays for staff but not any other overheads. A significant number are worried that their businesses may not survive until the end of the year.