BUDGET 2021: Nail & beauty industry reactions

By Kat Hill | 03 March 2021 | Movers & Shakers, News

Budget Case Lead

Following the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak’s Budget announcement, Scratch gathers reactions from key figures in the nail & beauty industry…

Millie Kendall MBE, CEO, British Beauty Council

Millie Kendall MBE

“I welcome today’s announcements, but we will remain committed to campaign for a VAT reduction of the personal care sector.

“Businesses told us in June last year what would make their recovery more viable, and the vulnerable, larger VAT-registered businesses did and still do believe that a VAT reduction is key to this.

“It seems like a simple mechanism which would help activate recovery for a services based sector and help keep staff employed.”

Richard Lambert, chief executive, National Hair & Beauty Federation

Richard Lambert, chief executive of National Hair & Beauty Federation

“We welcome this budget. We’ve worked hard to inform and educate the government about our sector, particularly through our recent report, An Industry at The Sharp End. Their improved understanding is reflected in the whole package – above all, in securing the higher grants for personal care.

“We were worried that the most vulnerable in our sector would find it hard to survive to re-open, but both the Restart Grant and further funding for the self-employed have thrown a lifeline to struggling businesses and professionals.”

“We will continue to press the case for a short-term reduction in VAT to help the hardest-hit hair & beauty businesses to recover.”

“The Chancellor’s Budget was positive for business and that can only be good for the industry as we step away from the restrictions of the pandemic.

Sue Davies, deputy chair at The Federation of Nail Professionals

“The revision of the criteria for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant is a lifeline to many of our newly registered self-employed nail professionals, and that will have brought relief to a lot of households. With most of our industry being in a position of suffering a loss greater than 30%, the fourth & fifth SEISS grants will be a great relief to support us as we rebuild.

“The Restart Grants for personal care being announced of up to £18,000 is a huge bonus for high street businesses. This is at last a recognition of the extra hardships our industry has suffered through enhanced restrictions. Even though we will open in line with non-essential retail, we will need additional support.”

“We owe thanks to our representatives who have been working with Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to push our industry’s needs and a higher value in the personal care Restart Grant will help many businesses plan for their futures a little more securely.

“Free Level 3 qualifications for every adult gives an amazing opportunity for us to up-skill as an industry and also to give an income boost to our education providers who will be able to deliver the courses. With regulation ever on the horizon now is the time to take that Level 3 NVQ or maybe add a business or digital qualification to your portfolio to help you run your business.

“While there were a few negatives in the Budget, such as no change on company directors, no VAT cut and a tiered raise in Corporation Tax, on the whole, I thought the Budget was a helpful one for small business.

“The measures can help our high street businesses maintain their position, give some support to the micro mobile and home salons, and give the confidence to make capital investments for larger businesses with the Super Deduction Scheme of 130% tax relief against investment purchases.”

Samantha Grocutt, president, Hair & Beauty Charity

Samantha Grocutt

“Since the third lockdown this January, we have seen a worrying 227% increase in requests for financial support during January and February, based year on year. Even after today’s announcement and the 12 April opening date in the roadmap, we know that our support will be required for months to come

“Today’s budget announcement has some positive news for our beneficiaries – especially those who were self-employed in 2019 and have been part of the three million who have fallen through the net of government financial support to date. Approximately 62.5% of the professional industry is working in a self-employed capacity.

“Our charity has been vital to support for them, so we’re pleased that there is now financial support available for those who need it and who meet the requirements for qualifying.”

However, we also know that many of the beneficiaries we are helping with financial support still may not qualify for the new self-employed support as many were self-employed in July 2020 either by losing their jobs or having their employment status altered. We have ring-fenced funds to continue supporting them.

“Further, the news that the sector’s lobbying for a VAT reduction to 5% has not been accepted will also affect salon owners who have been significantly impacted with almost nine months of salon closure. This cut was previously awarded to the hospitality sector and has now been extended, despite the hair and beauty industry being a third of the size and VAT paying salons employing half of all those people working in the sector.

“The charity is still very much a life-line for our industry and will continue to help those in financial need as we have for over 180 years.”

Click here to donate to the Hair & Beauty Charity.

Lesley Blair, CEO & chair of BABTAC 

Lesley Blair

Lesley Blair

“We welcome the Chancellor’s acknowledgement of our urgent call to include targeted additional support in the Budget for people working in personal care services. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank MP Caroline Nokes for her ongoing support and contribution to our coalition.

“Our objective to highlight our sector’s plight has resulted in personal care services being eligible for the highest grant available. The grant alone however simply does not go far enough for many businesses. While this funding together with extended furloughs and eviction protection extensions will be critical in simply ensuring that beauty therapists have the finances to actually open their businesses up again on 12 April, given the damages they have already incurred.

“However, having had no sector specific financial support made available previously, the grant without the VAT cut is simply not sufficient as both were essential to service different issues facing our sector.”

“The extensive research and evidence our coalition has provided directly to the government and the Treasury over the past 10 months has clearly demonstrated the critical state of our industry, a sector that contributes over £28 billion annually to the UK economy. The coalition will continue to work together for the good of the sector to campaign for improvements in recognition and support for our sector now and going forward.”

Helena Grzesk, chief operating officer, British Beauty Council

“Together, these new measures form a stronger package of long-term recovery for the sector. We are delighted by the recognition that the UK government has shown in our industry.

“Salons, spas and beauty businesses are the cornerstone of UK high streets and will be instrumental in kick-starting the economy and we look forward to working across the industry to get it back on its feet again.”