23 December 2021

A snap poll by the NHBF has demonstrated the urgent need for local authorities in England to process applications from hair & beauty salons and barbershops for the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG), as quickly as possible. Last weekend around 50% of hair & beauty businesses lost between 21-50% of revenue, with around 20% losing a staggering 50-100%.

This is the result of a startling fall-away in business last weekend (17-19 December), with 30% of booked appointments cancelled and walk-in trade falling to 19% of what was expected. Salons and barbershops reported clients cancelling appointments due to confusion and nervousness around the transmission of the Omicron variant or the effects of either staff or client illness.  This is potentially a major blow as December is traditionally the busiest month of the year which then supports businesses through the quieter January/February period.

The NHBF welcomed the Chancellor’s announcement of increased ARG financial support for all businesses struggling due to the impact of the pandemic, but feedback from Members during the lockdown earlier this year suggested that many hair & beauty salons and barbershops were knocked back by their local authority for not being eligible. HM Treasury has confirmed to the NHBF that salons and barbershops in England are entitled to the ARG.

Richard Lambert, NHBF chief executive, says, “This isn’t about asking government to bail out a failing industry - pre–Covid, the sector was in the top three fastest growing parts of the retail sector. It’s about supporting previously profitable businesses, owned or managed primarily by women, employing a high percentage of females and young people. If local authorities don’t make this extra funding available to hair & beauty salons or barbershops in their area, these businesses will close, with a huge impact on the local economy as well as on the health and well-being of the community.”

The NHBF has written to Paul Scully MP, Minister for small business and the personal care sector, to ask for help in urging local authorities to ensure that the ARG fund is made available to hair & beauty businesses struggling, and to the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak MP, to consider more targeted financial help if the situation does not improve.

Hair & Beauty salons and barbershops can find their local authority here: