Hairdressers and estheticians say once again they feel the last to be supported as they face an increase in cancellations under coronavirus warnings.
Omicron-hit hospitality companies can claim up to Â£ 6,000 in cash grants and receive compensation for employee sickness benefits as part of a new government support program.
Yeovil’s Blue Shampoo was unable to open for the first four months of the year due to the second lockdown.
Now co-owner Lauren Daly says she lost up to Â£ 600 in one day when three customers canceled that same morning.
âYou really notice it when you can’t pay your bills at the end of that week and then have to postpone your bills for another week. It just doesn’t look good, does it? “
The salon has a cancellation policy in place so that people pay part of their treatment based on how little notice they give – but fellow stylist Jo Green says it’s hard to enforce, especially when people unexpectedly test positive for Covid-19.“You also feel for them and think, well, it’s not their fault, but we’re missing out.”
It’s a similar story for esthetician Izzy Eaton who runs IE Beauty & Aesthetics in Bude. She says her income fell about 60% in December.
âIt’s usually the busiest month for our industry and it’s by far my worst month,â she said.
âThroughout this pandemic, the support has been appalling for this industry. “
In Plymouth, Danni Simmons is a beauty supplier and educator. She says her income has plummeted and she has credit card debt just to get by.
âI have rent arrears and am drowning in debt because I have had to pay for basic necessities, including food with credit cards. All with two young children under the age of five at home as well. “
The government says the hospitality and recreation grant is intended to support businesses hardest hit by the current uncertainty.
A Treasury spokesperson said Â£ 100million in grants had been made to councils to “distribute to needy businesses in their area”.