The Night Time Economy Adviser for Greater Manchester has warned the eleventh hour is approaching for the sector, and has called on Johnson to stop celebrating the return to work while leaving others out in the cold.
As rent holidays and grants schemes finish, and the end of furlough approaches next month, Sacha Lord has warned that without urgent further support, nearly three in five businesses in the sector could go out of business by the end of the year.
According to the Night Time Industries Association, 57 per cent of businesses in the sector will not survive longer than two months without further government support, and 73 per cent of night-time operators will be making more than half their workforce redundant from September.
“I’m extremely concerned about what will happen in the final quarter and the mental health for all involved,” he said today.
“For some, August has been strong with the Eat Out To Help Out scheme, but my fear is for those in the wider night time economy who haven’t benefited. Not only the wet-led bars and pubs who weren’t included in the offer, but the night clubs, live music venues and theatres which are still closed.”
“Rent holidays have ended, grant schemes are closed, and next month, all furlough support for these businesses will finish, so today, I am pleading with Johnson, Sunak and the Government to reconsider ongoing support for this sector.”
“It is an embarrassment to watch our Prime Minister buoyant and jovial on TV, peddling unsupported false facts and hailing the great return to work, while ignoring a sector which brings in over £66 billion into the UK economy each year and employs almost eight per cent of the UK.”
“We have needed strong leadership throughout this global pandemic and we have seen the opposite with u-turn after u-turn.”
“While we do need the public to return to city centres, the latest ‘All In, All Together’ campaign slogan to encourage Britain to ‘get back to work’ is shameful, ignorant and insulting to those whose businesses are still closed, and for the workers who are struggling to pay rent and feed their families.”
Lord continues, “What we need now are serious conversations about how to keep these operators afloat. The Government must look to protect businesses and prevent severe job losses by following the example of Germany and extending the furlough scheme into 2021.”
“Without ongoing support, the heart of British culture scene will be decimated, and by the end of the year, we will see mass closures. It is no longer a question of if they will close, but when.”