The Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, will make an announcement on the future of the Energy Bill Relief Scheme for businesses will take place next week, warning businesses not to expect the same level of Government support to tackle energy price hikes from April
The British Beauty Council has fed into discussions with the Federation of Small Businesses on the consequences of rising costs of gas and electricity on the beauty industry.
In conversations, it has been stressed to Minister for Enterprise, Markets and Small Business, Kevin Hollinrake MP, that the hair services sector is under particular threat. This is due to businesses having a vital reliance on high energy use to carry out the services they provide.
Previous data provided to Government by the Council and other stakeholders outlined that 94% of the beauty industry is facing energy bill increases. For the hair and barbering sector, in particular, costs have increased by an average of 148%, with some even exceeding 200% and 300%. This is despite the majority of businesses implementing multiple energy efficiency measures in their business.
With energy being the largest overhead for a third of businesses across the entire beauty industry, spiralling costs have placed a real strain on businesses already struggling to rebuild post-pandemic when consumers are faced with the cost of living crisis. This is in addition to the pressure of supply price inflation as a result of global events.
The Council has pushed for ongoing support for the beauty industry, targeted at those businesses that bear the highest cost burden in training and up-skilling our services sector. It has also highlighted businesses that are providing employment opportunities, supporting local communities and propping up the high street.
It has also called for green grants, interest-free loans and incentive schemes for commercial premises to transition to renewable energy and implement emissions-reducing measures within the business, in order to help businesses reduce their energy costs and make the necessary shift towards net zero.
On these initiatives, Chief Policy Officer Victoria Brownlie says: ‘We recognise that the Government needs to be more targeted in its approach to ongoing support for energy bills and have therefore taken every opportunity to highlight areas of focus within the industry that are most vulnerable, as well as other positive incentives that could be implemented to help businesses bring down costs in other areas. We continue to speak regularly with Government on this to ensure our industry and its positive contribution is taken into account in any decision-making.’
The Chancellor will make a statement week commencing 9th January on the future of the Energy Bill Support Scheme for commercial premises which will take effect from 1st April 2023.