Thank you to so many of you who have reached out to the UK Spa Association for support and guidance regarding the Coronavirus and how to use best practice in your operations for the wellbeing of your teams and your guests.

We would like to reassure you that we are liaising with our industry partners and organisations to provide you with as much information as possible. We will share with you any updates as we receive them. In the meantime, please do utilise the links provided below to various authority websites as your guidelines on prevention, and of course ensure your usual hygiene and sterilisation procedures are being followed at all times. 

Corona process 

Keep Informed – Useful Links Industry

Keep Informed – Useful Links Financial

Business Planning

Invitation for Innovation



If you are a BABTAC member you can contact them for advice over at:  our for more urgent enquiries on: 01452 623 110.




We have been inundated with applications for our COVID-19 Grant. We have closed the scheme for further applications while we process the huge number of applications received to date. As soon as we know whether there is more capacity in the fund we will re-open the grant for applications accordingly. Please bear with us while we process applications and make our first grant payments.

Although the latest correspondence is that the hospitality grant has now closed for processing. Do keep checking the website.












The Chancellor is now under increased pressure to offer better support for the self-employed, especially after his recent announcement that employees will receive 80% of their salaries, capped at £2,500 per month. We are closely monitoring this situation. Further information may be known on Friday (27th March).


For Income Tax Self-Assessment, payments due on the 31 July 2020 will be deferred until the 31 January 2021. You are eligible if you're self-employed. Please note that this is an automatic deferral so you are not required to make an application.

Also, all businesses and self-employed people in financial distress and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time To Pay service. This has recently been up scaled to ensure all firms and individuals have access to this. These arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities.

If you are concerned about being able to pay your tax due to COVID-19, please note the:

HMRC dedicated Tax Helpline: 0800 0159 559


All VAT registered UK businesses can now defer their VAT payments. You don't need to apply, it's an automatic offer where businesses won't need to make a VAT payment during the period 20th March - 30th June 2020. Taxpayers will be given until the end of the 2020 to 2021 tax year to pay any liabilities that have accumulated during the deferral period. VAT refunds and reclaims will be paid by the government as normal.

If your employer intends to access the job retention scheme, they should discuss with you becoming classified as a furloughed worker.


Business title, has an employment lawyer to explain the detail of Government pledge to pay 80% of employees' wages – see link.

What are furloughed workers?

Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all employers in the UK will be able to access support to continue paying part of employees’ salaries who would otherwise have been laid off during the ongoing health crisis. Furloughed workers are those whose employers cannot cover staff costs due to coronavirus and as such they have been asked to stop working but have not been made redundant.

If your employer intends to access the job retention scheme, they should discuss with you becoming classified as a furloughed worker. This would mean that you are being kept on your employer’s payroll, rather than being laid off. To qualify for this scheme, you should not undertake work for your employer while you are furloughed, according to (Source:


Newly launched, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) temporarily replaces the Enterprise Finance Guarantee Scheme and will be provided by the British Business Bank through accredited lenders. To apply visit this website and follow the information provided.

How will the Business Interruption Loan Scheme work?

UK-based small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) with an annual turnover of less than £45m can apply for an interest-free loan of up to £5m to help them through Covid-19 related difficulties.

The government will provide a grant payment to cover the interest and initial fees for the first 12 months, and will guarantee 80% of the loan amount to give banks and financial companies the confidence to lend.

Under the scheme, which will initially run for six months, businesses will be able to borrow for up to six years. They will be liable to repay the money in full - the guarantee is for the lenders, not the borrowers.

Will all small and medium-sized firms be able to borrow money?

Not necessarily, Firms will have to prove that they are viable businesses which have been trading successfully, but just need extra support to deal with short term difficulties caused by the current disruption. Some firms may not be successful.

The money will be provided by more than 40 lenders who have signed up to the scheme, including High Street banks like Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds and NatWest, as well as more specialist finance companies.

Businesses are asked to contact their own bank first (if they are taking part in the scheme) via the company website if possible, and only approach other lenders if they need to.

The British Business Bank, which is running the scheme, told the BBC on 23 March that it expected money to start flowing "this week".

Can self-employed people apply to the Business Interruption Loan Scheme?

Yes, The British Business Bank says self-employed people with an annual turnover of up to £45m can apply under the scheme, as long as they operate through a business bank account, and generate more than 50% of their turnover from trading activity.

This includes sole traders, freelancers, and limited partnerships, operating in all sectors.

The government has already said the UK's five million self-employed people would be allowed to defer self-assessment tax payments, and would benefit from mortgage payment holidays as well as an expansion of welfare support, including universal credit and Local Housing Allowance. (Source: BBC website).

For more visit their site:

Self Employed Income support Scheme

On Thursday 26 March the Government announced a package of support for self-employed people.  This is a new package of measures and is a very detailed programme.  We have picked out the main points and they are listed below. 

To apply to the new Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, the following must apply:

  • You must earn more than half of your total income from self-employment. This must have been the case for either your 2018/19 tax return or the average of your last three years' tax returns: 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19 tax returns (or both).
  • Your average annual trading profit must be less than £50,000. This is essentially a 'cliff-edge' requirement – so those whose average annual trading profit is £50,000 or more won't be able to get any support from this scheme.
    Government guidance says your average annual trading profit will be calculated from either your 2018/19 tax return or the average of your 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19 tax returns. It's not clear from the Government guidancewhich of these is used if the figures differ though – we're checking and will update this story when we know for sure.  
  • You must have filed a tax return for 2018/19. This means you must have been self-employed prior to 6 April 2019. If you were due to file a 2018/19 tax return but missed the deadline this year, you'll have until Sunday 26 April to submit your tax return, after which you can access the scheme. 

Grants will start to be paid at the beginning of June, as a taxable lump sum covering March, April and May. And while the scheme's initially to cover these three months, the Chancellor has said it may be extended.  HMRC will contact you directly if you qualify for the scheme.

If you don’t qualify for then you can look at Universal Credit.

If you need further information you can visit Martin Lewis’s website which has an abundance of information

He has also created a video which answers a lot of questions

The Government has further information on their website

If you have an accountant they will also have up to date information.

The Federation of Small Business has lots of information



Government extends business rates holiday to all hospitality businesses. The government has announced that the business rates holiday is to be extended to all businesses in the retail, leisure and hospitality sector for the next 12 months, to help those struggling with the ongoing Coronavirus.


Homeowners and landlords can now apply for a three-month mortgage payment holiday by contacting their lender. See the WHICH website:


When in times of doubt, you want to have a strategic and solid plan for your business. Listed below are some suggestions to help you to alleviate some of the challenges you may be facing currently, so you can become laser focused and in alignment with your goals and objectives going forward.


With many now working from home and with those in self-isolation, now more than ever, our websites are being viewed under a new lens. Our websites and general online presence is taking centre stage, so take the opportunity during these unprecedented times to improve this presence.

Check Contact Details

With clients and customers staying home, update your contact information, double check Google My Business etc. Make it very easy for customers to contact you during these testing times but also for when you can reopen and think how you might offer any services or advice virtually during this period.


If you supply goods, create a starter kit with video tutorials. People will have more time on their hands and self-care along with stress management will be a priority. Think about how you can package up your retail services.


Request testimonials/reviews for products/services to add to your site. Sensitively, make contact with clients and ask if they’d be willing to construct a testimonial now for your website. Also add to Tripadvisor and Google My Business.

Refine Low Traffic Pages

Do you log into your website and just any pages that don’t fulfil their potential. Perhaps it advertises stock that won’t be replenished for a period of time. If you are comfortable doing so, go into your site and tidy up pages that you are not utilising to their optimum. Unused or unfinished pages can go against your business when it comes to your site’s SEO ranking. Take this opportunity to update SEO such as page titles, URL’s, meta descriptions, image alt tags, social media images.

Also check dead links: these can be 404 pages or links that don’t lead to the correct place. Use a tool such as: to scan your site and update any links that do not currently function properly.


8 Practical steps to help protect your business during Coronavirus pandemic:

Reach out to customers.

Post on social media and keep visibility of your business as high as you can. Be careful of your own media diet however, keep it to ‘just enough’ to be kept informed. Remember all correspondence should be emotionally intelligent, be warm and friendly, reassuring and take the lead.

A big shout out to LVMH, which has already turned around its manufacturing lines at brands like Guerlain, Parfums Christian Dior and Givenchy to mass manufacture hand sanitisers for French hospitals. It’s a little gesture but the kind of thing that gets remembered many years later. (Source: Marketing Week).

Postpone - do not cancel

Create a policy of postponement for now. If you cannot allocate new spa visit dates yet, then just say so and wait. People are actually quite concerned and are supportive of how smaller businesses will ride out this pandemic, so be transparent.

Leverage online services and voucher sales

Are you able to either create an online product (gift voucher) or service? Can you manage your customers using online only communications? If you offer in-person coaching or consultation then switch to online tools such as Zoom or Skype. (See our handy Zoom guide for beginners).

Talk to your team

Your team members might be feeling anxious because of financial concerns as well as health concerns. Those on furlough still want to feel part of the team, feel connected and plan for the future.

Product/Sales Training

Not had a chance to refresh product knowledge for a while with the whole team? Retail sales are going to be key over the coming weeks and months and when things get back to normal to recover lost revenue. Use this time to get the team 100% up to speed on products and even hold retail sales training with your teams. Take the time to refresh on product knowledge, new launches, share techniques and queries.

Remote Skin Consultations

Are you in a position to be able to send ‘at home’ kits out to some who is isolating and talk them through how to use them and what benefit it will give.

Deepen Industry Connections

Connect with other distributors/ brand subsidiaries around the world to share resources, best practice and build relationships. There is a great deal of complementary resources currently. Harness them and take the gift of time, to increase your own self development, industry knowledge to improve your business offering.


What have you been planning on doing for a while that you’ve not got around to? Treatment menu re-design, new signature treatments, spa redesign, update marketing plan, protocols, SOP’s. These are jobs that need doing . Why not tackle them now and be stronger and more efficient when things start to settle back to normal. Plan your social media content – ask yourself, what customer problem are you trying to solve? If you can answer 52 times, this one question. You’ll have a weekly content in no time!

Take advantage of Government support

The UK government appears to be putting in measures to support businesses. Please inform yourself how you can benefit from this. Don’t wait for information and help to trickle down to you, actively seek it and organise your best plan of action.

Review expenses immediately

Ask yourself, what can we do differently now and afterwards. What new system and processes can you implement. What are the opportunities for new practice going forward.

Negotiate rent breaks and supplier terms

Now is the time to start talking to your landlord about a temporary rent reduction. Landlords would rather have reduced or postponed rent for a short time than no rental income. At the same time, negotiate with suppliers about more favourable terms or a temporary pause.

Finally, take good care of your own health and wellbeing at this challenging time, including your emotional and mental wellbeing. Seek time in each day to meditate, practise yoga or read a book.