One in five beauty salons and hairdressers could fold by the spring without further support, a stark industry report has warned.
Britain's 74,880 hair and beauty businesses saw turnover collapse by up to 57 per cent in 2020 and will have lost an average of £41,000 due to Covid-19 by the end of this year, new analysis for the National Hair & Beauty Federation shows.
It warns that 11 per cent will be 'acutely vulnerable to failure' if they remain closed until the end of March. This figure rises to 21 per cent if they stay shut until the end of April.
Cuts: The jobs of many hairdressers are ‘acutely vulnerable’ if lockdowns persist
Salons expect between six and eight months of trading at reduced levels after re-opening due to continuing social distancing measures.
They say they need a VAT cut to 5 per cent in next month's Budget to avoid closures and job losses, plus further grants and loans for smaller firms and the self-employed.
Hair and beauty firms – including freelancers and micro-businesses – employ around 221,000 people, of which 88 per cent are women and 20 per cent aged under 25. Full-time employment has plunged by 21 per cent compared with 2019, due to redundancies and reduced hours.
Larger firms were hit by the Government's decision to scrap the Job Retention Bonus, which would have paid £1,000 per furloughed employee from this week. Some had taken on additional apprentices to be funded using the bonus.
Kaye Sotomi, co-founder of ChopChop salon at Westfield, West London, said he may not be able to provide enough hours for his team due to uncertainty over when clients will return to their offices.
'This might lead to job losses at a time when people need work the most,' he added.