By Minreet Kaur
Beauty businesses were due to open 1 August but now will have to wait another two weeks as the government announced this news last week.
Achvini Sri, 28, London, a henna artist and medical student said “Being a student, I have a tight budget already. I’ve always done tutoring on the side, but as exams were cancelled my services weren’t required so I lost that extra income I would have had.
Lockdown has taken a toll on my mental health and I started to feel very demotivated. I haven’t been able to work and do not know when I can work again. During lock-down, I kept myself busy in taking part in a henna challenge but it has been very tough for me both financially and mentally.”
Prabs Sura, 27, Southall said “Since lockdown, I have had all bookings cancelled. This has had a massive impact on me financially with no income and affected me mentally. From being constantly busy 7 days a week, to now not being able to do my job. It’s been really hard. As much as I am very sympathetic towards couples whose weddings had to be cancelled, but beauty businesses, have been completely stripped off doing what we love with no clear guidance as to when we can start again.
Whilst very much cautious of being safe and being cautious of COVID19, its extremely frustrating that men are able to go to their Barbers for a haircut, pubs and public beaches
are open, we as beauty professionals wearing PPE, with disinfect clean tools and kits aren’t allowed to do our jobs, our livelihood.”
Gita Lavingia from Lavingia Beauty Art, London said: “The initial lock down has had a huge impact on my team and the business mentally and financially. Financially we depend on client bookings, due to the uncertainty of a concrete opening date, we had appointments in the system which had to be cancelled hence losing a big chuck of business revenue.
I was 110% sure that we would be up and running from 4 July 2020 alongside the Hair dressing industry, however it was not the case and a last-minute blow. My business mantra is Health and Safety for my team and our clients is number one priority even before COVID-19 pandemic.”
BABTAC (British Association of Beauty Therapy & Cosmetology) latest survey shows the true impact of Covid-19 on the beauty industry and UK Economy.
Businesses within this £.6.6bn industry are affected not only financially but also their mental wellbeing – a sector which employs over 300,000 people in the UK.
A huge number of businesses are at risk of closure, according to the survey, 42% are in desperate need of immediate earning to avoid the risk of closing businesses or further job losses. Whilst nearly 35% are the sole or main income provider of households.
Over 80% said they are confident to re-open, having adapted the way they work to meet Covid-19 guidelines. If businesses are unable to open for the foreseeable, an industry that employs over 300,000 people in the UK will be at risk with over 70% of those surveyed confirming that at least 1-4 people are at risk of being made redundant within a business.
Whilst government funding has helped, only 31% received a small business grant and a further 50% were able to secure the self-employment income support scheme, however shockingly nearly 18% didn’t qualify for any funding due to the parameters set.
For an industry that prides itself on cleanliness and safety, even before Covid-19 for many women and men they are desperate to get back to work, to start earning money for their business and provide treatments in a safe and prepared way. Lockdown has been lifted for many businesses through the UK such as non-essential shops, hairdressers & barbers, pubs and restaurants but sadly not the beauty industry, with 80% having said they have felt impact on their mental welling of which 40% are really struggling or overwhelmed due to these unknown circumstances.
Lesley Blair Chair at BABTAC says “The impact of the lockdown has been absolutely crippling to the entire beauty & hair treatment sector, which in the UK alone is worth 6.6 Billion based on Economic impact Assessment we were involved in with the Hair & Barbering Council last year. This does not include product at all so the financial impact is literally 100% of treatment earnings every month”