Home haircuts have been back on the menu since England went into a third national lockdown on 5 January 2021, forcing hairdressers and barbers to close until the restrictions ease sometime in the spring.
With the COVID-19 vaccinations slowly rolling out, the restrictions probably won’t ease until March or April, at which point we transition back into local tiers. Until then, the professional hairdressing industry is closed.
There is some welcome support out there to help hairdressers and barbers survive this phase. In this blog post, I aim to round up the three most relevant funding sources for salons which are available now.
New lockdown grants
On 5 January 2021, new lockdown grants were made available to around 600,000 businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors. This includes the professional hairdressing industry.
The new lockdown grants sit on top of existing support, such as the self-employed income support scheme (SEISS), and are worth between £4,000 and £9,000. Your local council distributes the funds.
Owners of hairdressing salons and barber shops who usually pay business rates to their local council are eligible for the grants. How much you get depends on the salon’s rateable value.
Most salons will be able to get the lower grants of either £4,000 or £6,000, because of their rateable values being less than £15,000 or £51,000, respectively. Shops with values of more than £51,000 qualify for £9,000.
Hairdressers or barbers who are self-employed should already know plenty about the extremely helpful SEISS. These grants are in place until the end of April 2021, and might be extended beyond that.
Like the previous two grants, lump sums spanning three months and covering 80% of a hairdresser’s monthly trading profits – up to £7,500 – are available. The current grant covers until 31 January 2021.
After that, a fourth SEISS grant will also cover a three-month period from 1 February to 30 April 2021. However, the Government has yet to confirm how much will be available.
Furlough scheme extension
For salon owners with employees, you can continue to furlough staff and get the Government to cover 80% of the wages – up to £2,500 a month – until the end of April 2021.
You need to have a PAYE scheme to qualify and claims only go back as far as 1 November 2020. You also need to pay National Insurance contributions and comply with auto-enrolment, even for the hours not worked.
The furlough scheme may well be extended beyond 30 April 2021 in the Spring Budget on 3 March. A job support scheme is due to kick in once the furlough scheme ends.
If you’re a hairdresser or barber who needs help with ways to boost your cashflow until you’re able to fully reopen, call me on 07803 782100 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to go through your options.