UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s second Budget delivered a £65bn three-point plan to support both people and businesses through this “moment of crisis”.
The Chancellor’s immediate priority was to support those “hardest hit” with extensions to furlough; self-employed support; business grants; loans and VAT cuts for hospitality and tourism sectors.
For the first time ever, the newly-established Personal Care sector was mentioned specifically in a budget with a series of measures that will directly support the beauty, spa and hair industries.
In particular, with 65% of people who work in beauty being self-employed, according to the National Hair and Beauty Federation’s Industry Statistics 2020 Report, the extension to the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme will provide vital financial assistance in the months to come.
However, VAT for hair and beauty businesses was not cut, despite high-profile campaigning for targeted support from a ‘Covid coalition’ of BABTAC, the British Beauty Council, the NHBF and the UK Spa Association. These organisations have committed to continuing to work with both BEIS and the UK Treasury on changing this outcome “as a matter of urgency”.
We spoke to several beauty, spa and hospitality leaders to get their reactions on the Chancellor’s latest measures to help businesses.