The Professional Beauty Association (PBA) and the Professional Beauty Federation (PBF)returned to Washington D.C. on May 8, 2013 along with industry volunteers from across the country for Lobby Day followed by Welcome to Our World 2013. The annual visit to Capitol Hill brings together beauty professionals from across the industry who volunteer their time to speak with members of Congress and their staffs about the issues affecting our industry and how they can help promote growth for salons / spas and licensed professionals followed by an evening of complimentary beauty services.
Six teams of approximately five to seven beauty professionals met with more than 40 congressional offices, including the offices of Senators Joe Donnelly, Dan Coats, Roy Blunt, Kirsten Gillibrand, Chuck Schumer, Pat Toomey, Bob Case, Saxby Chambliss, Ted Cruz, John Cornyn, Jim Inhofe, Tom Coburn, Barbara Boxer, Pat Roberts, Jerry Moran, Susan Collins, William Cowan, Angus King, Elizabeth Warren, as well as Representatives Todd Young, Sander Levin, Jackie Walorski, Tom Reed, Dina Titus, Blaine Luetkemeyer, Mike Quigley, Tom Price, Allyson Schwartz, Charlie Dent, Joe Barton, Xavier Becerra, Linda Sanchez, Lynn Jenkins, Ed Markey, and Chellie Pingree.
While the state of the industry as a whole was discussed, lobby teams also advocated for the Small Business Tax Equalization & Compliance Act, which is currently in the final stages of being reintroduced as part of the legislative process. The Bill would give salon owners a dollar-for-dollar tax credit on the FICA taxes they currently pay on their employees' tip earnings. This is a tax provision the restaurant industry has enjoyed for nearly 15 years and the salon industry should as well. If passed, the legislation would allow salon owners to invest back into their businesses and employees in the form of expansion, redevelopment, more education and employee benefits.
Organized by the Professional Beauty Federation (PBF), which is comprised of the Professional Beauty Association (PBA), American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS), International Salon/Spa Business Network (ISBN), jcpenney Salon, OPI, International Spa Association (ISPA) and Sexy Hair, the annual Welcome To Our World Event (WTOW) was once again a huge success.
Welcome To Our World 2013. Organized by PBF on Capitol Hill.
As one of Capitol Hill's most popular learning events, a pop-up salon featuring complimentary haircuts and mini-manicures is created and staffed by more than 100 professional volunteers. More than 500 members of Congress and their staffs came and learned about the professional beauty industry's key issues, including access to cosmetology education and financial aid, consumer protection, equitable taxation and small business support. Several members of Congress attended the event, including Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-PA), Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA), Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT), Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV), and Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA).
"Our members literally 'touch' more than half of the U.S. voters at least once every year. No other industry has such an extended reach. We will continue to reach out to Congress throughout the year about our key issues, including equitable taxation, access to cosmetology education, consumer protection, fairness in financial aid for our students and small business support," said Eric Schwartz, COO of OPI Products and President of the Professional Beauty Federation.
The professional beauty industry is an exciting and growing part of the U.S. economy. Industry professionals have a range of professional opportunities, including working as a stylist, owning a salon, and manufacturing their own product lines. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 1,069,310 salon establishments in the U.S. Salon service revenues equal $75.38 billion dollars. A majority of U.S. salon industry businesses are owned by women; 54 percent of employment-based salons and spas, which is three times higher than women's business ownership rate (18 percent) for the economy as a whole.
To learn more about PBA government advocacy efforts on the state and local level as well as how to participate in grassroots efforts and/or future Lobby Day events, visit www.probeauty.org/advocacy.