WE ARE CALLING ON OUR GOVERNMENT TO RECOGNIZE THE DEVASTATING IMPACT COVID-19 HAS HAD ON THE CANADIAN BEAUTY INDUSTRY AND TO SUPPORT A DEBT-FREE INITIATIVE TO PROVIDE RELIEF FOR BUSINESSES IN OUR INDUSTRY
Covid-19 has put many industries into a state of crisis and the Canadian Beauty Industry has been deeply affected. The Government of Canada needs to recognize the particular vulnerability of the beauty industry sector during Covid-19.
We in the beauty industry, have two major things working against us:
1. There is no option for hairstylists, barbers, aestheticians, nail techs, makeup artists, etc. to work from home.
2. We are more at risk than many other professions, as we work physically close to the public.
The Canadian Beauty Industry must band together and ask for support during this unprecedented time.
The salon/spa industry is a significant economic sector in Canada with a market size of 4 billion dollars. To give businesses in our industry the best chance to recover and to provide safe spaces for our workers, we need our government to give businesses in our industry relief not loans.
The safety of our staff, coworkers and the public is of the highest importance. Our work requires close contact with the public. Because of this, many of our businesses shut down even before the mandated closures – losing 100% of our revenue overnight. The livelihoods of stylists, barbers, aestheticians, nail techs, makeup artists, salon owners, spa owners, suppliers and manufacturers are at stake.
We are calling on our government to recognize the devastating impact Covid-19 has had on the Canadian Beauty Industry and to support a debt-free initiative to provide relief for our industry.
Suggested Relief Action Plan:
• This is an industry based on fee for service and our people have been off work for weeks. Any further work delays will leave them in even more of a precarious financial situation. Workers are extremely anxious that their support benefits will take too long to arrive, they will not meet the requirements, or they will not be able to get through to Service Canada in a timely manner, since the current demand on the system is overwhelming. The government needs to expedite the support benefit procurement process.
• Ensure that Employment Insurance (EI) benefits and the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) are supplemented to reflect the higher cost of living in our urban centres.
• Create an allowance for part-time workers. It is common for workers in our industry to have multiple sources of income and under current rules this disqualifies them from CERB.
• Forgive commercial property taxes for the months businesses are closed.
• Issue a government directive for rent and related costs to be paused temporarily, until the government relief is implemented.
• Require insurance companies to cover business interruption during this time of mandated business closures. Currently, they are denying coverage for such claims.
• Implement a deferral plan for business loans from financial institutions. Include the principal and the interest in this deferral. All payments need to be deferred until after business resumes.
• Suspend all taxes owed to the federal and provincial governments including HST, source deduction obligations and corporate taxes, as well as remove any penalties and/or interest for current late payments. Businesses should not be penalized or charged interest.
• Require credit card companies to lower all interest charges on cards held by businesses, including merchant service providers (e.g. fees and equipment leases/rentals).
In closing we want to convey the grave need of our industry at this time, an industry of owners and workers that are particularly vulnerable to the Covid-19 crisis, due to the nature of our work. Yes, the government is offering loans, but going into further debt is not a relief plan.
Please help our industry make a recovery without the burden of debt falling so heavily on independent operators. Without this help many of our industry’s businesses will not survive.
This initiative was inspired by the collective, cooperative action taken by leaders in the hospitality industry to create endeavors such as SaveHospitality.ca and SaveYourLocal.ca. Please consider supporting their initiatives too!