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NHBF calls on next Government to back hair & beauty  

 Responding to the announcement of a general election on July 4 2024, the National Hair & Beauty Federation (NHBF) calls on the next Government to recognise the wide-ranging value of the sector and implement targeted policies and reforms to help it thrive in the future. 

The NHBF unveiled its ‘Manifesto 2024: the value of hair & beauty: careers, communities and wellbeing’ on May 8, 2024, highlighting the sector’s vital role in the UK economy and communities.  Key recommendations for the next government include VAT and business rates reform, targeted support for employers including improving the provision of apprenticeship funding, encouraging social prescribing and creating a level playing field through aesthetics legislation. The report also showcases positive wellbeing and sustainability initiatives and calls for targeted green incentives.  Minister of State in the Department for Business & Trade, Kevin Hollinrake referred to a sector that ‘makes an important contribution to our high streets, daily lives and local economies’. Rushanara Ali, Shadow Minister for Investment and Small Business also recognises that ‘hair and beauty businesses are a key part of the key street, the economy and make a strong contribution to wellbeing’. 

NHBF Chief executive Caroline Larissey emphasised:  ‘We were pleased around the manifesto launch that two of the main parties have underlined the important contribution that the hair & beauty sector makes to the high street, the economy and community wellbeing.  Our manifesto sets out a positive vision for the future and how the next government can better support the creativity, entrepreneurship and public service displayed by our members every single day.   Even with the recent end of the recession and reduced inflation, half of sector businesses are still grappling with Covid debts. They will need further targeted support as outlined in our manifesto, so that they can continue to play a central role in the UK’s economic growth, youth employment, apprenticeships, and the enhancement of people’s wellbeing and sustainability into the future.”  

Rosina Robson, Director of Policy and Public Affairs at the NHBF, called on businesses to mobilise, contact their local MPs and candidates to advocate for future reforms. She encouraged members to use the contents of the manifesto as a tool and to inform conversations at a local level.  With an ambitious agenda for the year ahead, the NHBF Manifesto aims to put hair and beauty sector at the forefront of the political agenda as a great British success story.    Key points are: 

  • Recognise the value of the hair & beauty sector with 49,000 businesses contributing £4.6 billion to the UK economy with wider consumer spend across the whole sector at £24.5 billion. 
  • Recognise their significant contribution the sector makes to the health of local high streets and also to community wellbeing through the myriad of different ways in which they support local healthcare through complementary therapies. 
  • A significant employer of young people, 240,000 people around half aged 16-34. With affordability of apprentices a challenge for small and micro businesses, we call for more effective redistribution of levy funding and the roll out of flexi-apprenticeships. 
  • Sustainability: we showcase the many positive initiatives in the sector including guidance on achieving net zero targets and call for further green incentives to support business.