NHBF Calls for Government Action as Poll Shows Impact of Plan B
The National Hair & Beauty Federation (NHBF) is calling for government support as the results of its latest poll show that salons and barbershops are suffering from cancellations due to Covid-19.
During their busiest month of the year, salons are experiencing a severe loss of income during the Christmas period. This is due to cancellations from clients having to self-isolate or change their minds as a result of Plan B and the emergence of the Omicron variant.
The NHBF ran a poll on their Instagram to their followers on the effect of Omicron and Plan B to salons. In a month that usually sees columns filled and chairs jam-packed, this Christmas looks slightly different for salons. 73% of the survey respondents said that they had experienced cancellations. With 56% reporting a reduction in advance bookings after the most recent government guidance.
More than half of the respondents said that their business has been disrupted by new guidance and cancellations, meaning the financial blanket which December usually provides salons and barbers for the following months has disappeared.
It’s not only client isolation and cancellations which is affecting salons. Staff having to self-isolate is also causing a dip in profits – with 28% of businesses reporting disruption due to staff shortages.
NHBF chief executive Richard Lambert commented:“This situation is evolving rapidly, but it’s already clear that the government needs to act before it becomes a crisis.”
“The industry had shown its resilience and was on the path to recovery, but early indications show that that the combination of Omicron and Plan B is having a drastic effect on bookings and footfall in salons during a time in which the sector relies heavily on cash generated in December to get them through the quieter months in January and February. Many of our members tell us their finances are still finely balanced, and this sudden fall-away could be devastating.”
The government needs to provide targeted financial support to help the industry quickly, whether by reallocating existing resources or making new support available. We are also calling for an increase in the 50% discount on business rates for next year and flexibility on repayments of CBILS (Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme) and bounceback loans to offer much-needed support to those suffering financial hardship,” continued Richard.