21 February 2024

National Hair & Beauty Federation calls for urgent VAT reform and targeted sector support

Ahead of the Spring Budget on 6 March, the National Hair & Beauty Federation (NHBF) has written to the Chancellor to urge him to provide vital targeted support to the sector:

Urgent VAT reform includes either reducing the rate of VAT, raising the threshold or introducing a smoothing mechanism or tiered rates around the VAT threshold. A recent independent paper published by the NHBF ‘Avoiding the Cliff Edge’ shows businesses ‘bunching’ behind the threshold and modelled different options for tiered rates to incentivise growth.

Read the full Press Release here.


£100 million support delivered to back the next generation of small business owners

The next generation of business leaders have received over £100 million worth of support from the Government backed Start-Up Loan Scheme

  • 15,000 loans have now been delivered to support small business owners aged 18-24 since 2012.
  • Access to finance and advice is available as part of the Help to Grow Scheme to drive the government's ambition to make the UK the best place to start and scale a small business.

15,000 Start Up Loans worth over £100 million have now been issued to young business founders aged 18-24 since 2012.

The Start Up Loan Scheme is government backed finance delivered through British Business Bank, which has delivered over £1 billion in loans to SMEs across the country since the scheme launched in 2012.

Access to finance is a key part of the refreshed Help to Grow Campaign, a one-stop shop for SMEs to find the information they need to start, scale up and grow their own business.


UK Economy falls into recession

The UK economy fell into a recession in the second half of 2023.

Gross domestic product (GDP) contracted by 0.3% in the three months to December, having shrunk by 0.1% between July and September, official data showed.


Low Pay Commission UK Visits 2024

The Low Pay Commission (LPC) is an independent statutory Non-Departmental Public Body set up under the National Minimum Wage Act 1998 to advise the Government on the National Minimum Wage (NMW).

They are on the lookout for companies that might be interested in speaking to the commissioners about the impact of minimum wages on their business.  From 1 April 2024, the minimum wage will be increased to £11.44 for those over 21-year-olds which is nearly a 10% increase from last year.  There are also adjustments for other age groups as shown in the link here.

How will the latest announcement affect your business planning?  How would you respond to the rising NMW?  LPC is also interested in talking to companies that are trying to raise their productivity, to showcase their learning journeys in their communication platforms.  The oral evidence given by the companies will be collated along with the research statistics for LPC to make their yearly recommendations to the government about the minimum wage.

If you would like to speak to the LPC Commissioners and bring up issues pertinent to your sector, please refer to the table of visits below and contact Rosina Robinson for the NNBF.

Visits Schedule

20 to 21 March 2024 (England)

  • Isle of Wight
  • Southampton
  • Portsmouth


17 to 18 April 2024 (England)

  • Dover


15 to 16 May 2024 (Wales)

  • Cardiff
  • Newport

12 to 13 June 2024 (Scotland)

  • North Ayrshire
  • Glasgow

3 to 4 July 2024 (Northern Ireland)

  • Bangor

31 July - 1 August 2024 (Midlands)

  • Coventry
  • Wolverhampton