Hairdresser struggling to pay bills amid 'abysmal' Covid support

  • Watch Charlotte Gay's report.

Hairdressers and beauticians say once again they feel like they're the last to be supported as they face an increase in cancellations in line with coronavirus warnings.

Omicron-hit hospitality businesses can claim up to £6,000 cash grants and receive compensation for employees' sick pay as part of a new government support package.

The Blue Shampoo in Yeovil couldn't open for the first four months of the year because of the second lockdown.

Now co-owner Lauren Daly says she's lost as much as £600 in one day when three clients cancelled on the same morning.

"You really notice it when you can't pay your bills at the end of that week and you've then got to put your bills back an extra week. It just doesn't look good, does it?"

The stylists say they don't want to drop clients who refuse to pay the cancellation fee. Credit: ITV News

The salon has a cancellation policy in place for people to pay for a proportion of their treatment depending on how little notice they give - but fellow stylist Jo Green says it is 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 miss out."

It's a similar story for beautician Izzy Eaton who runs IE Beauty & Aesthetics in Bude. She says her earnings are down by around 60 per cent this December.

"It is usually the busiest month for our industry and it’s been by far my worst month," she said.

Izzy Eaton says the beauty has been"the worst supported industry all throughout this". Credit: Facebook/IE Beauty & Aesthetics

"Throughout this whole pandemic the support has been abysmal for this industry."

In Plymouth Danni Simmons is a beauty supplier and educator. She says her earnings have plummeted and she's in credit card debt just to get by.

"I’m in arrears with my rent and drowning in debt as I've been forced to pay for basics including food with credit cards. All with two small children under five at home as well."

The government says the hospitality and leisure grant is intended to support businesses that are hardest hit by the ongoing uncertainty.

A spokesperson for the Treasury said £100 million in grant funding has been given to councils to "distribute to businesses most in need in their areas".