Congress Needs to ACT NOW!


“Service spending in the U.S. is projected to drop as consumers will experience an inability to gain access to professional beauty services due to closures. This simply is unsustainable and the need for relief is urgent.” 

Small business desperation is increasing the need for Congress to act before the end of the year. The professional beauty industry is confronted with another series of closures in response to the rise of COVID-19 cases. The reduced salon capacity in some states, while allowing salons to remain open, still has an impact felt nationwide and it is unclear if licensed beauty professionals can cycle through another cut to incoming revenue. Like many other industries, the argument to remain open is reliant upon data to share the extent to which personal protective equipment (PPE) and safety standards within the salon environment are safe for consumers. 

The beauty industry has exceeded expectations by modifying the salon environment and creating new policies for both employee and client safety. Yet, beauty professionals are not immune to state closures. Much relief is needed, including an expansion of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), PPE credits, and a retroactive application of the 45b FICA Tax Tip Credit (H.R. 1349/S. 2634).  The ask to Congress is to pass a COVID relief bill that will address these issues and more, including the inevitable housing crisis and unemployment benefits.

Beauty industry employers and licensed beauty professionals have been by far the hardest hit of any industry. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of jobs at employment-based salons plunged by 84 percent between February and April 2020. In August, the professional beauty industry‘s employment level still remained 18 percent – or 101,000 jobs – below its pre-coronavirus level in February. In comparison, the nation’s overall private sector lost more than 21 million jobs between February and April – a decline of 16 percent. The private sector added 3.2 million jobs in May, 4.7 million jobs in June and 1.5 million jobs in July – 9 percent below its February level.

Service spending in the U.S. is projected to drop as consumers will experience an inability to gain access to professional beauty services due to closures. This simply is unsustainable and the need for relief is urgent. If Congress fails to act, employees will no longer have a salon to return to and licensed beauty professionals will join unemployed Americans who are seeking help through unemployment insurance benefits. The beauty industry is at risk if changes are not made to help sustain the COVID-10 pandemic crisis. 

A broad bipartisan package is urgently needed to extend relief to businesses who desperately need it to stay afloat and keep their staff employed. As a member of both the Clean Start Coalition, and the COVID Relief Coalition, PBA supports several measures for relief. Without support from Congress for some form of relief prior to the end of the year, the likelihood of a full economic recovery is unlikely. 

The beauty industry supports the expansion and extension of PPP and a streamlined process for the loan forgiveness process which can be accomplished by including S. 4117, The Paycheck Protection Program Small Business Forgiveness Act sponsored by Senators Kevin Cramer, Bob Menendez, Thom Tillis and Kyrsten Sinema, and H.R. 7777, The Paycheck Protection Small Business Forgiveness Act sponsored by Representatives Chrissy Houlahan and Fred Upton, in a COVID relief package. 

Additionally, there is support for a safe reopening tax credit. There are several different introductions of legislation in Congress to address providing a credit for the expenses and training related to the PPE requirements and modifications necessary to operate under new state guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID. Support if offered for H.R. 8260, The Businesses Preparing for a Better Tomorrow Act sponsored by Congressman Pete Olson; H.R. 7079 The Clean Start: Back to Work Tax Credit Act introduced by Members Darin LaHood and Stephanie Murphy; S. 4178 the small Workplace Safety tax credit introduced by Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Kevin Cramer; H.R. 7222 the Safe Re-Opening Tax Credit introduced by Congressman Jimmy Panetta; and H.R. 7216 the Small Business PPE Tax Credit Act introduced by Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence. 

Time is moving quickly, year end is near and the need for support for business owners, employees, and independent professionals must be recognized, we continue to ask Congress to act now and pass legislation to provide relief for the professional beauty industry.  


Myra Y. Irizarry Reddy is the Director of Government Affairs for the Professional Beauty Association (PBA). Myra studies various issues affecting the professional beauty industry including local, state and federal legislation. She writes advocacy campaigns, policy positions, and testimony. Prior to joining PBA, she served as a staff member for the U.S. Senate, U.S. House, the Texas State Legislature, and the California State Assembly. 

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