According to the Office for National Statistics, 87% of adults in the UK reported an increase in the cost of living from August to September 2022. Apart from that, the report also says that 16 million Britons have had to cut back on food and essentials, with a further 15% taking on more hours of work and 4% having to take on extra work to make ends meet. But what does this mean for beauty?

To put this into industry perspective, research from the British Association of Beauty Therapy & Cosmetology (BABTAC) shows nearly 94% of salon owners are struggling due to a dramatic increase in user rates over the past year. 40% experienced a 100% price increase and a further 10% experienced a damaging 200% price increase. Meanwhile, the National Hair & Beauty Federation found that 77 percent of beauty and hair salon businesses pay more for energy than they did six months ago, leaving three-quarters of businesses partially or wholly dependent on government support.

“The rise in bills is just another blow to those who have already faced the negative impact of the pandemic, which has been estimated at an average financial loss of £11,603 on earnings,” Lesley Blair MBE, CEO and chairman of BABTAC, she told Beauty Pie.

As suggested by Blair, the beauty industry’s financial struggles originated from the pandemic and were only exacerbated by the looming cost-of-living crisis. While some may feel that the pandemic and its effects are over, that is certainly not the case and several brands and companies are still trying to pick up the pieces due to the monetary effects COVID has had on their sales.

Last year, to help deal with the financial impact of the pandemic, the British Beauty Council campaigned to give more money to the personal care sector from the government’s Restart Grant, raising the initial £6,000 grant to £ 18,000. This move was imperative, as according to Millie Kendall, CEO of the British Beauty Council, 95% of UK beauty and hairdressing businesses are small and medium-sized businesses, with a majority having fewer than ten employees. As of 2021, the government’s Restart Grant was estimated to have paid around 1,000 new wages to employees in the beauty industry.

Speaking about the grant, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (former Chancellor of the Exchequer) told Elle: ‘The last year and a half has taught us that the beauty industry is an essential service because what it provides are things that cannot be measured on financial spreadsheets. It’s a sense of trust and esteem or well-being, and that’s why when we reopened the economy, we made sure that beauty was right at the beginning of that process.”

In response to the combined fallout from the pandemic and the cost of living crisis, the UK government announced in September a six-month postponement for non-domestic consumers due to rising energy costs. While this is a welcome step for salon owners, many start-ups would have continued to struggle to recoup losses from the pandemic even if the UK hadn’t hit an energy crisis, meaning it will now only be harder to do so. despite government efforts.

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