High Rd hairdressers hit by slump
by Nadia Sam-Daliri Hairdressing salons in a recession ravaged High Road have seen custom reduced by half. Last month, the Times launched a series of reports on key industries in Kilburn High Road hit by the economy. Councillors and busin
by Nadia Sam-Daliri
Hairdressing salons in a recession ravaged High Road have seen custom reduced by half.
Last month, the Times launched a series of reports on key industries in Kilburn High Road hit by the economy. Councillors and businesses had branded the once thriving shopping hub as 'Recession Road'.
Salons along the stretch, which is dominated by independent shops, bars and restaurants, have told the Times that high business rates coupled with less customers are crippling their trade.
Patrice Reid, a stylist at Hollywood Curl, in Kilburn High Road, said: "Everyone used to be fighting for a business on the High Road. As soon as a place closed, someone would snap it up. I would say business has reduced by more than 50 per cent for us. The rates are what have hit us. We pay more than �500 a month for this place and that's before rent or bills. It's killing us."
Marva Gordon, a stylist at Lemoge Clinic, in Kilburn High Road, said: "Small businesses need more help in times like these. Some days are ok and we'll have up to 20 people in here. On others, there'll be just two. Next door shut down. I used to work there. I've worked here for 13 years. I've never known it to be so bad."
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Last year, Xcellence, a salon on the Brent side of the road, shut down and has yet to be bought by another business.
Peppered in between the pound shops and clothing outlets that seem to continually have for sale signs in their windows, are empty properties on both the Camden and Brent sides spanning the length of the street.
Colleen Isaach, a customer at Hollywod Curl, said: "Kilburn High Road used to be a carnival. Transport links are good and the location is brilliant. You didn't need to go to Oxford Street for anything. Now that's all changed."
Both councils, who do not set business rates but collect them for central Government coffers, say that not enough businesses know they may be eligible for a reduction in rates.
Last month, cllr Anthony Dunn, Kilburn ward told the Times there are 1,900 businesses across Brent eligible for business rate relief, but only around 1,400 have applied.
But some salons indicated there has been one saving grace in their trade as people attempt to do their own hair at home.
Jummy Mustatha-Ashilokun, who works at Team Touch Salon, in Kilburn High Road said: "A lot of people who have been doing their own hair at home mess it up and end up having to spend more fixing it. Salons are always something people want to treat themselves to."