Batley and Spen MP, Tracy Brabin, has called on the Government to give the beauty industry more support, following a virtual meeting with local beauty businesses.
The Government has changed the re-opening dates for beauty businesses who were initially told they could not reopen on August 1 as planned. But the new open date has since been moved to August 15 following a rise in COVID-19 cases in Kirklees.
There are now widespread concerns that businesses may have to remain closed until local lockdown restrictions are lifted.
On the call between Tracy Brabin and local beauty businesses, there was a consensus that the government has shown no understanding of the industry and the economic impact it has, with 600,000 jobs and approximately £7bn in tax revenue coming from the industry.
Ali, manager of Maha Beauty Salon in Huddersfield, is concerned for the future of his business and admits there is confusion over the changing Government guidance in the area.
He said: “It has impacted our business. There are too many guidelines and too many restrictions to abide by.
“The guidelines are too difficult to follow and we cannot work properly. There is no clear guidance, we are confused and customers are confused about what they can do.
“We are not sure how long it will go on for and I can’t understand how we are able to open one day but then asked to remain closed the next.”
In a letter, addressed to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, Tracy Brabin said: “The Prime Minister’s dismissal of the beauty industry as nail bars and keeping them closed has left this female-dominated industry guessing about support and when they can open.
“There is also a strong feeling of unfairness in that salons cannot perform facial treatments with PPE while barbers when trimming beards don’t require any protection.”
“Whilst the government needed to take action once the R rate started increasing, the haphazard way that the restrictions were communicated, with late-night announcements on Social Media, have only added to the uncertainty in this industry.
“With 80% of those working in the beauty industry saying they have felt unsupported throughout COVID-19, this would be an invaluable opportunity for the Government to rebuild some of the trust that has been lost.”