With non-essential shops and service companies closed for the foreseeable future, many small businesses are facing uncertainty. The government has issued a statement that it will give financial aid to businesses that need it. And salons are no exception. But many are also thinking about how they can support themselves and their staff emotionally during this difficult time.
So, what grants and loans do you qualify for? And how can you further help your employees? We take a look…
The government has introduced a number of grants and loans, including support for businesses who are currently paying statutory sick pay (SSP) to those who have been diagnosed with COVID-19. Employers with less than 250 employees are eligible as long as they keep a record of employee absences and payments of SSP. Please note that they do not have to provide a GP fit note to prove absence.
You may also be eligible for the Retail and Hospitality Scheme which allows businesses in the hospitality, retail and leisure sectors to receive grants of up to £25,000 per property. Businesses with a property that has a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000 may be able to receive this grant. Properties with a rateable value up to £15,000 may be eligible to receive £10,000.
And for businesses that pay little to no business rates, the government will provide additional Small Business Grant Scheme funding for local authorities to support small businesses. A one-off grant of £10,000 will be available for businesses to help meet their costs.
What you can do
Make sure you keep your employees in the loop when it comes to salon updates. Some might need to make adjustments according to what you’re doing, so it’s essential that you let them know as soon as new information becomes available.
You also need to stay updated daily on the ever-changing situation. Regularly refresh reliable news sites and the government website for the latest announcements, and make yourself available to talk to your employees about their circumstances and how you might be able to help.
If possible, create a plan to clearly show your employees the measures you have put in place and ease their worries during this financially difficult time. You could also add timescales so that your staff can put their own measures in place in case the lockdown lasts longer than expected.
It is important that you also reassure your team in other ways too. Being on lockdown can have a detrimental effect on your employees’ mental health and wellbeing, so it’s always a good idea to catch up with them through daily or weekly video calls. You might want to host games, such as pub quizzes. You could also start a morning workout session via Skype to keep you and your employees active and allow them to have a natter between themselves.