We Must All Join Save Our Salons Campaign Says Hellen Ward
Hellen Ward says the professional hairdressing industry need to act now and join the Save Our Salons Campaign if we want to save all hair, barbering and beauty salons in 2021. Hellen Ward is the managing director at Richard Ward Hair & Metro Spa and hair and beauty consultant and she has worked with a collective of salon owners with a mission to Save Our Salons.
What is the Save Our Salons Campaign
Our industry is in crisis. A recent survey suggests that around 62% of all salons in our sector feel that they could be in real danger of going under by the end of 2021 due to the Coronavirus. Statistics suggest that nearly 8,000 salons will never reopen due to the pandemic. When we translate that into jobs lost, the damage becomes unthinkable. We simply have to act to prevent any more heartbreaking harm. And we have to act now.
That’s why I’m sending out this SOS – it’s time to join forces, mobilise and do something to Save Our Salons. All the information you need is at saveoursalons.co.uk. We are a faceless organisation made up of a collective of salon owners who have a single mission to Save Our Salons, our businesses, and the people who work in them. We have no time for politics, other than reaching out to the politicians themselves. We need to become a coherent force, so we are one voice with one goal. Across all media, all industry bodies, all salon owners, all manufacturers, all suppliers – just unification with a common aim.
Despite running this campaign our attempts to get our VAT reduced to 5% in line with the VAT break the Government had given hospitality were rejected. But we can still lobby for change – not in a generic, industry way, more you, the local salon owner telling your local MP why you need the VAT rate to be reduced. And how, if we are successful, it might just make enough difference between your business surviving or not.
The Professional Beauty Group, which includes Hairdressers Journal International and Professional Beauty, are amongst the trade media who are supporting this campaign. This backing and your individual backing is crucial to our success.
The heavy taxation we pay when it comes to VAT in the UK has long been something I have been ranting about, and our industry has been campaigning to reduce it for as long as I can remember. We believe we are one of the most highly taxed industries, contributing massive amounts to the UK economy.
Other countries like the Republic of Ireland, have reduced rates for services and different, higher rates
for goods such as sales tax for retail. We are taxed at 20%, with all the costs of bricks and mortar retail units. Conventional retailers make their living from selling products, recouping the VAT they shell out when buying their stock. With our stock spend being minimal in our business model we cough up the VAT on our services, which make up the majority of our sales, which simply isn’t fair.
You might feel you can’t be involved unless you are a VAT-paying salon owner. But it doesn’t matter if you
are a freelancer, employed or self-employed. Whether you are a barber, hairdresser, or earn your living through supplying products, services or goods to the sector, or indeed if you are in journalism, PR and media relating to our industry – you can still support this campaign to ensure we not only protect our salons and our profession, but we can also help save our high streets too.
One letter might save someone’s business and help protect our industry. Sadly, there is no time to lose. Please help Save Our Salons – it is the biggest and most important SOS of all.
Four steps you can take now
- Find out who your local MP is. Use the link on the saveoursalons.co.uk website.
- Get in touch with your MP. We suggest you personalise our draft template letter – again, the link is on the website.
- Don’t be afraid to tell your own story. Your MP needs to know from real people, real businesses in their constituencies, exactly how you’ve been personally affected. It is this that will make the difference when they table what to debate in parliament. This is when our voice will be heard and decisions can be made.
- Help by sharing our campaign with other salon owners – highlight it on your social media and share it with anyone else you think might help.