Industry bodies join forces to demand financial support from government

By Kat Hill | 24 February 2021 | News, Products & Treatments

Money Worries

A collective industry group has written to the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, to call for additional financial support from the UK government for the Personal Care sector.

The British Beauty Council, National Hair & Beauty Federation, British Association of Beauty Therapy & Cosmetology and UK Spa Association have joined forces to pen the letter, which highlights the industry’s contribution to the larger economy and the devastating effect closures have had on businesses.

The letter comes ahead of the spring budget which due next week (3 March), calling for a Personal Care Fund to assist c and to help them with their immediate cash flow crisis, as well as support for businesses to recover through a targeted reduction of VAT to 5%.

The letter states: ‘Our analysis points to 1 in 4 businesses within the sector now being acutely vulnerable to failure. The personal care sector urgently needs a dedicated support fund to sustain what are otherwise profitable businesses through this immediate crisis, otherwise they may not survive to re-open.

It also highlights that ‘the grants and loans offered by the government have fallen well short of the fixed costs of maintaining their businesses ready to return. As a result:

    • two-thirds of businesses within the sector are now in debt
    • 61 per cent have no cash reserves left
    • 55 per cent are using the owner’s personal savings to stay afloat
    • In January, they expected to survive 2-3 months of lockdown without additional support.

“We welcome the 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,” states Richard Lambert, NHBF chief executive.

“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, 12 April is still seven more weeks without being able to trade but still having to pay the overheads.

“We still need a specific grant to support our sector through the immediate cashflow crisis to the point where we can re-open.”

The letter supports the collective group’s efforts which include lobbying the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the HM Treasury and the Cabinet Office for an urgent Personal Care crisis fund and a reduction in VAT.

The full letter can be read here.

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