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“We’ll be reopening to a pile of bills on the doormat” – East Dulwich hairdresser reacts to lockdown roadmap

The co-owner of GMs Hair Salon in East Dulwich has mixed emotions about the reopening of hairdressers in April, writes Simon Throssell…

Matt Rowden was ‘pleasantly surprised’ at first by the Prime Minister’s announcement, thinking he would have to wait until June to reopen.

But Matt has mixed feelings about coming back, especially after the ‘awful Tier 4 lockdown’ announcements a week before Christmas.

He said: “Our busiest week of the year was taken away from us within a couple of hour’s notice.

“We missed out on a fortune and it destroyed our Christmas.”

Despite being closed, Matt was still required to pay VAT demands on top of his usual expenses.

When he returns, there will also be extra VAT payments that were deferred under the VAT Payment Deferral Scheme.

“I can’t understand why we’re being asked to pay when we are locked down and obviously can’t do business.

“Nearly 5000 salons have already shut because they can’t afford to reopen in April which is a real shame… VAT for the hospitality sector needs to be cut down.”

The salon applied for a grant from Southwark Council but had to wait seven weeks for a response.

Matt was able to furlough all 12 of his stylists but is now concerned about what is in store for the future.

“The thought of coming back with outstanding bills builds an awful emotional picture.

“I’m afraid that we’ll have to start out almost like a new business.

“There will be a huge surge initially while we clear out our backlog of customers but unless the government does more for our industry… I don’t know…”

If you run a small business in Southwark, let us know your plans:


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