A nail bar owner has described the furlough scheme as a “saving grace” that helped protect the jobs of her salon workers.
The £70bn UK Government programme comes to an end on Thursday after supporting millions of UK workers over the past 18 months.
Jayd Linney, owner of Nailco Nail Bar in Aberdeen and Glasgow, told STV News: “It was really a saving grace obviously when we had to close, as it was for many businesses, but the biggest benefit of furlough for us, I think, was the flexible furlough scheme.
“So, when we were able to reopen, the demand wasn’t the same as pre-Covid.
“Bars and clubs weren’t open, events weren’t happening, people weren’t going on holidays – so we weren’t experiencing the same level of demand as pre-Covid.”
Ms Linney ensured that the self-employed staff could continue working while those who were employed were placed on furlough.
She added: “That was really helpful for us.”
The businesswoman said that if it weren’t for the Government’s financial support, she would have had to let staff go.
Ms Linney added: “In terms of the beauty industry, it’s really difficult to find highly-trained and good technicians and therapists, and we put a lot of effort into making sure our team are those things, so if it wasn’t for the flexible furlough approach then we would have had to let some of those people go because there just wasn’t enough demand and there wasn’t enough trade.
“So, flexible furlough gave us the ability to not have to do that and then kind of phase people back into full-time roles and positions as the demand increased.
“It was really good to be able to have such a flexible approach to support the business in that way, and it has meant that everybody who worked here pre-Covid is still able to work here now.”