Rising water costs sending salon profits down the drain
A CABARITA hairdresser is calling for tighter regulation of home-based salons, fearing shop-front businesses are being threatened by rising water costs.
HairLife owner Vivian Small said while she supported home-based hairdressers, she worried many hairdressers were illegally installing wash basins and not paying a hair wash basin contribution fee, as required by Tweed Shire Council.
"It feels like a discrimination against small business,” she said.
"We all use water and pay for it, but why the different rules for the same service?
"I welcome the work from home movement, as it saves on greenhouse gasses, travel costs and time. But discrimination against commercial enterprise however is an appalling stance from our local government, and home-based businesses need to be better regulated to ensure fairness.”
Ms Small said she was also concerned future apprentices might be impacted if shop-front salons started to close because of increased costs.
"Who is going to train apprentice hairdressers of the future, when salons close their doors due to the proliferation of home salons?,” she said.
"There in lies the future if council does not step up and make things fairer and charge the same fees to home salons.
"I am expecting Council to help my industry with a level playing field on this unfair discrimination against an industry that provides apprenticeships, and has a severe skill shortage, with action.”
A council spokesperson said both home-based salons and shop-front hairdressers were regulated accordingly.
"Hairdressing salons are levied water and sewer contributions,” they said.
"Council recognised that this cost could be a burden for new businesses, so a revision of the Business Investment Policy was adopted in August 2016 to spread payments over time and based on use.
"Home salons are not required to submit a DA and may be exempt under State legislation provided they comply with statutory requirements.
There are no additional water, sewer or liquid trade waste charges for these home hairdressing salons.”