Save our Salons
Over the past two years, all industries have taken a hit. A lot of people focus mostly on hospitality and the hit that’s taken which is completely justified. But I think people are overlooking the fact that the salon industry is on its knees. We need to save our salons!
I was featured on BBC News recently to talk about the impact that cancellations and no-shows due to COVID are having on salons, particularly small ones.
The interview is transcribed below for you:
Interviewer: Now is Jo Bevilacqua, owner of serenity loves hair and beauty salon in Peterborough. Jo thank you for joining us. I’m guessing you can join us because you’re not as busy as you were hoping you would be.
Jo: Well I think that is the case and just the huge amount of concern that’s going on. We have had over 200 cancellations and no shows in our salon over the last two weeks. So absolutely highly concerned doing what we can in salon with the people that are still booking in but as you say, what is usually a very busy time for us as an industry, we’re not as busy as what we should be.
Interviewer: What are people telling you when they bother to phone up to cancel rather than just not turn up?
Jo: I think it’s a mixture thing some people are being told to isolate, some people are obviously getting COVID. Some people are concerned obviously they have been told to minimise what they are doing and only doing the things that really care for them. So I’m assuming that their hair or their nails are not as important as the prospect of not spending time with their family over Christmas.
Interviewer: What’s your message to them? You’ve made a video and you put it on YouTube I think What are you saying in it?
Jo: Yeah, we did a live on Facebook. Just to kind of to talk about what our industry is going through at the moment. There has been a lot of talk and media coverage over the hospitality industry which is obviously well deserved. But it for our industry. We simply can’t pivot we can’t do take away haircuts. We can’t send things out in the post. So unless people are coming into salon, we cannot do what we want to be doing or what we need to be doing to make sure that our business is going to run.
There’s people panicking with the just the amount of cancellations that they’re having. And the impact of the fact that we are still recovering from being shut for so long in 2020. And at the beginning of this year. We were a huge contributor to the economy. But we don’t feel like we are being heard or listened to or supported maybe, in the same ways that maybe other industries are. We’ve not had any VAT cuts. We still have to pay the 20% VAT which is a huge impact on small businesses. Most of the hair and beauty salons are self employed or micro or small businesses. So every single penny counts, every single appointment counts and we need some financial support from the government.
They were amazing last year with the furloughs scheme and the grants. And that really helped so many salons stay open and support their teams through this time. But with the uncertainty of possible lockdowns or the business not coming through the door we can’t sustain less we are still in recovery mode. We are literally clinging on for dear life.
Interviewer: And also you’ve had the expense of putting in all those extra measures Haven’t you to make sure that you are kept COVID safe when when people do come in? We know that the chancellor has come back from the United States for this crisis meeting with business leaders just briefly. What sort of help do you need imminently?
Jo: We need more grants. We need more financial help, we need to have some certainty that the furlough scheme will be bought back.
So we can do Flexi Furlough if we need to send people home. We’ve had massive three hour cancellations that have happened that people are then just standing around or cleaning, so we’re paying them to clean because we don’t want to send them home and they be short of money for Christmas. So Flexi furlough, grants, bounce back loans to be paused or I mean it would be amazing if they were scrapped altogether.
I think the business rates, a lot of sounds are quite small but that won’t impact them for the biggest salons that would be a huge help. And VAT cuts is an absolutely massive one for so many of us in this industry. There’s so much more that they can be doing. There was so much support last year from the community and from the government. And it almost feels like there’s been nothing for so long.
This four and a half thousand salons that shut in 2020. There’s an estimation that 8000 salons have shut since COVID. And I really, really worry that people are going to close over Christmas and they’re not going to reopen and salons as we know it won’t exist in the future.
So, how can you help?
What can we all do to save our salons?
- Buy your hair and beauty products from your salons rather than big corporates. Everyday we use amazing products from shampoos and conditioners, to beauty products and electricals.
- Purchase vouchers for yourself or your friends/family. It really goes a long way!
- Spread the word! Word of mouth is so important, so please help us spread the message by sharing online, and educating those around you,
The most important thing you can do is show up to your appointments. We take deposits because if cancelled, we simply cannot fill those spaces. We don’t take deposits because we are greedy and want more money, we take them because we need to pay wages, to pay bills to keep the salon open.
If you need to move your appointment, our policy is that you let us know no later than 48 hours before your date and time, so we have some hope of filling your space.
If you’d like to hear me talk more about ‘save our salons’ I did a live recently that you can watch here.
Please help us spread the word! #SaveOurSalons