The National Hair and Beauty Federation has submitted evidence to the Scottish Parliament’s Local Government and Communities Committee expressing concern about plans to pass over control of business rates to local authorities.

Members of the Scottish Parliament voted in early December to scrap the uniform business rate which sets the poundage for business rates for all businesses in Scotland. If passed, this could lead to higher rates for businesses and the loss of cross-Scotland rate reliefs benefits.

Hair salons, barbershops and beauty salons are the backbone of the high street. With 3,725 hair and beauty businesses currently operating in Scotland generating a turnover of £606m, they remain a highly visible presence within communities.

The NHBF has raised concerns in addition to other leading groups such as FSB Scotland, Scottish Retail Consortium, CBI Scotland and UKHospitality who are all opposed to the current proposals.

Hilary Hall, NHF chief executive, said: “Salons are already facing rising employment costs and increasing competition.  Business rates are a significant cost for small businesses, so any move which could lead to local authorities imposing large increases is concerning. Before such a major move is made, we feel that an assessment of the likely economic impact should have been done.  We have made our views clear and hope that Members of the Scottish Parliament will reconsider when the Bill is looked at again in the New Year.”