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Hellen Ward, My closed hair salons cost me £1,000 a day ! Covid lockdown

Covid lockdown: 'My closed hair salons cost me £1,000 a day'. Hellen Ward, co-founder of beauty salon chain Richard Ward, says her debts have been racking up while her salons have been closed due to Covid restrictions."We have worked out it's probably £1,000 a day in debt that we have incurred in being closed," she said.She is part of a campaign calling on the government to cut VAT to help mend the hair and beauty sector's finances.A survey of salon owners suggests that 56% are considering closing.The Save our Salons campaign group also estimates that nearly four in five will recruit no apprentices this yearAny closures would harm the finances of women the most - almost 90% of salon workers are women.The group says there are 45,000 salons providing jobs for nearly 300,000 people.

Larger salons with lots of employees, big rents and high rates have particularly struggled, says Gina Conway, who owns three hair and beauty salons in London. She opened her first 20 years ago.

Her salons have been closed for 238 days in the year since the first lockdown."Because hairdressers can't do takeaway or home visits or online haircuts we are all really struggling to cover our costs," she told the BBC.She still has to pay rent, insurance and utility bills. Support from her landlord has been mixed. One has offered a discount during the lockdown, one has not replied to her requests and one won't budge."I have a successful business and I plan on growing, I'm just holding my breath on what the government can do to help," she says.(BBC)

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