9 in 10 Nightlife Businesses Fear Roadmap Delay Threatens Survival
A flash survey of members of the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) has revealed today that 9 in 10 nightlife operators fear any delay to the full re-opening of nightlife and hospitality on June 21st could threaten the survival of their businesses.
The survey also found that:
- 85% of businesses require at least 2 weeks’ notice to prepare to reopen or restart their business activity.
- Over one third of businesses will need at least 4 weeks’ notice to prepare to reopen or restart their business activity.
- 95% of businesses have already made financial commitments and logistical preparations to reopen on June 21st:
- 54% of businesses have ordered stock.
- 73% of businesses have called in staff.
- 60% of businesses have sold tickets.
- 64% of businesses have booked entertainment.
- 80% of businesses have financed marketing and promotional materials.
The NTIA now warn that any diversion from the planned roadmap will be financially and emotionally catastrophic for businesses that have pinned their hope, and invested heavily, on a June 21st reopening date.
While the Prime Minister has stated the Government plan to adhere to the scheduled re-opening date, he has urged caution in response to the new Indian Covid-19 variant. The Government expects to provide further detail on the last stage of the roadmap on the 14th June, leaving businesses anxious to understand if and what restrictions may remain.
Michael Kill, CEO of the Night Time Industries Association, says:
“Our survey shows overwhelmingly that any change to the Government’s roadmap will wreak havoc on nightlife businesses. The stark reality for both the industry and for Government is that thousands of businesses risk being plunged into further financial hardship by a deviation from the reopening plan.”
“Businesses have already had to engage staff, order stock, book entertainment and sell tickets, all at a considerable cost. Evidently, the Government has a misguided understanding of the timelines, preparation and operational requirements of our sector, given the ridiculous seven-day notice period they have said they will give ahead of reopening.”
“Operators have asked for a minimum of 3 weeks to prepare for opening and, as with the events sector, have been forced to take financial risks by investing in preparation for opening, including by needing to recruit staff amid shortages, procure equipment and perform maintenance on their premises. Ultimately, the inability to plan could cost operators dearly if we see the date for a full reopening slide.”
Sacha Lord, Night Time Economy Adviser for Greater Manchester said:
“We are 4 weeks away from restrictions being fully lifted, the data is looking positive”
“It’s time for the Government to stand strong and allow some of the hardest hit industries to prepare for opening with some level of confidence that there will be no further delays”
“These businesses are already overburdened with debt, struggling to rebuild the workforce and under pressure to prepare for opening in an extremely short period of time. Let’s not make things harder by moving the goal posts.”
Carly Heath, Bristol Nightlife Advisor said:
“In Bristol over a third of the population works in the Night Time Economy, the heart and soul of our city is on hold whilst we wait to reopen safely. Since the mass redundancies of the early pandemic, businesses across the sector are now desperately searching for staff in time to reopen. Any delay to restrictions lifting will be the death knoll for many businesses barely holding on”