British Beauty Council increases calls for government to provide beauty industry lifelines

The British Beauty Council, alongside other industry groups, is working closely with UK government to present proposals for a package of industry-saving measures that would include a VAT cut for salon businesses, plus a dedicated personal care fund to support businesses with immediate cash flow crises.
Delegates are currently in open dialogue with representatives from the HM Treasury, the Cabinet Office and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, calling on the government to implement more support for the sector.

It would include a Personal Care Emergency Fund for businesses forced to close to help navigate through the immediate cash-flow crisis. This falls in line with similar funds created for other industries such as the arts, cinemas, hospitality and leisure, competitive sports, live performance venues, and aeronautical industry.

The Emergency Fund would recognise that the sector has already absorbed the significant operating costs of complying with the ‘COVID-secure' requirements under the ‘Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19)' guidance for close contact services and the financial impact of delays to reopening throughout the pandemic due to being categorised as ‘high-risk'.

Alongside this, a temporary reduction in VAT to 5% once businesses reopen is also being proposed to help counter the financial impact of social distancing restrictions and help them recoup their losses and recover.

The British Beauty Council explains that VAT Paying Personal Care businesses account for around 25% of all businesses in the sector and employ approximately 50% of the workforce. A cut in VAT would therefore benefit a significant portion of those directly within the sector, in addition to the wider supply chain.

Helena Grzesk, chief operating officer at the British Beauty Council, comments: “We are impressing upon government that we need to act now to minimise the already-extensive damage to our industry, 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 the government to support the immediate, short and long term recovery; and the future of the sector.”

(Image: iStock/Getty Images)