‘Unprecedented times’: British Beauty Council calls for government support amid COVID-19

By Kacey Culliney

- Last updated on GMT

Beauty services generate €8.5bn in revenues every year in the UK, according to the British Beauty Council (Getty Images)
Beauty services generate €8.5bn in revenues every year in the UK, according to the British Beauty Council (Getty Images)

Related tags COVID-19 coronavirus Uk British Beauty Council

The British Beauty Council has called for UK government action to support the country’s hair and beauty salons and self-employed during the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19.

UK beauty generated €31.7bn (£27.2bn) in 2018 – across products and services – representing 1.3% of the UK’s total Gross Domestic Product (GDP), according to a report produced by Oxford Economics for the British Beauty Council last year. And the category employed an estimated 590,000 people across the country; 150,000 of which worked directly in the beauty services category which generated €8.5bn (£8bn) in revenue each year.

In a statement issued today, the British Beauty Council called on wider government action to protect industry amid the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.

A call for action: UK beauty needs more support

“These are unprecedented times and it is clear from media coverage and government response that we are facing the biggest health crisis and economic challenge some of us have ever experienced,”​ the British Beauty Council said in a statement issued today.

“We need government action to support Britain’s hair and beauty salons, and the self-employed, during the outbreak of COVID-19.”

It said hair and beauty salon owners were not only battling the declining high street but now faced “a possible financial catastrophe” ​that could lead to the extreme hardship or closure of an estimated 40,000 businesses. Hair services alone represented 31% of the UK beauty sector’s total GDP, the British Beauty Council said.

While the UK government had issued some rescue plans – stimulus packages issued by the Treasury​ – the British Beauty Council said these would only assist some beauty businesses in the UK, not all.

“The British Beauty Council are doing all we can to support the British beauty industry by lobbying government for more information and help during this time.”

2020 challenges – a time to ‘future-proof’ UK beauty

Earlier this year, CEO of the British Beauty Council Millie Kendall MBE told CosmeticsDesign-Europe 2020 would be an important year to “future-proof”​ the UK beauty sector.

Kendall said it was looking at building a five-year plan to do this – considering challenges around sustainability, developing next-generation cosmetic scientists and wider education in the field.

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