The NHBF has teamed up with organisations representing the hospitality, leisure and retail industry to put pressure on the Government to raise the threshold for support for businesses facing hardship due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Whilst the furlough scheme has provided welcome support for employees, financial support for businesses with a rateable value of £51k or more has been all but non-existent. During this time, hair and beauty salon and barbershop owners are facing ongoing rent costs, VAT bills and other outgoings, yet have no income to support their businesses. Bounce back loans, although available, still have to be paid back, therefore increasing debt.
The #raisethebar campaign is pushing for the £25,000 Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant (RHLG) to be made available to all businesses with a business rates value of up to £150,000. This would help many salons and barbershops in cities with higher business rates to deal with cash flow challenges, such as rents, that wage subsidies do not address. Currently the £25,000 grant is only open to salons and barbershops with a rateable value of up to £51,000.
Ian Egerton, President of the National Hair & Beauty Federation and owner of The Stress Exchange in London and said, “By ignoring businesses such as mine with business rates just over the £51,000 threshold, the Government is storing up trouble to come. Not only am I not entitled to any financial grants, I also have no income at all, yet quarterly rents are still expected to be paid at the end of this month. This is not sustainable. A VAT delay does not help as ultimately the money still has to be paid back. I do not expect the government to fund failing businesses, however with no means of income and outgoings still expected, they urgently need a common sense approach to fairness.”
Hilary Hall, Chief Executive of NHBF added, “The government support has been focussed on small and micro businesses which has benefited many of our Members. But this campaign work is essential for our larger Members who have received little or no government support and rightly feel that they’ve fallen through the cracks. We hope that working together with other organisations as part of the #raisethebar campaign will increase our voice and help get these businesses the support they need to ensure their longer term survival.”