The hair and beauty industry calls for attention to the government to re-open buisinesses
KARACHI - In light of the outbreak of COVID-19, perhaps the most badly affected businesses have been those that are service-based. Though acknowledging that the hairdressing industry is a high-risk business in light of the novel coronavirus outbreak, the government cannot turn a blind eye to the industry.
The hair and beauty industry generates a large amount of revenue for the nation and the lack of government support will mean that businesses can only survive on savings, and personal investments of entrepreneurs, for so long.
They have been closed from the 19th of march till today. It has now been four months since the closure of business for the hair & beauty industry. Pakistan hair and beauty association, would like an open dialogue to exist between the government, with a timeline as to when they will be allowed to open; failing which they will have no choice but to open salons, the only other option being closure of hundreds of salons.
"Our salons have been shut for over 3 months. We have had to pay staff salaries, utilities and rent without any income or support. While it would be very easy to play victim and ask for monitory help from the government, all we are asking for is permission to open our salons for a limited time period, few days a week catering to a small percentage of clientele with strict SOPs so we can sustain our selves," said Nabila, president of PHABA.
Another concern regarding this is that many women from low-income families, have used this skill to be able to become breadwinners of their families. The prolonged closure of salons & spas around the country will result not only in a massive unemployment spike, and will therefore increase the economic burden already felt by many households.
"Women led Business like salons are fundamental to promote women empowerment, jobs and Economic revenue in the country," added Saeeda Mandviwalla - Vice President PHABA.
More attention must be given to this industry, also due to the fact that the taxation paid by such businesses adds up to a large amount, taking into account those collected by the Sindh Revenue Board and the Federal Revenue Board.
Many of such businesses have already formulated stricter SOPs than the sectors that are allowed to be operational at the moment. They have the onus of adhering to both international as well as national regulations.
According to Musarat Misbah, senior member of PHABA, "The beauty industry provides employment and imparts skilled training to underprivileged women from humble backgrounds, to minority groups; Christians, Hindus, trans persons to acid burnt victims.
"Women contribute to almost 50% of Pakistan's population-these talented women should be allowed to earn their living and not be let down by the government," she concluded.
With all these factors putting more pressure on the hair & beauty industry with each passing day, the government needs to give more attention to the industry and offer relief so that businesses may cope, and will not have to resort to closure of businesses and the laying off of staff.
PHABA is the Pakistan hair and beauty association which was formed in 2009 and has 160 active businesses that are registered with the federal board of revenue and Sindh Revenue board as well as qualified hairdressers and beauticians in this field.
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