Sacha Lord – Night Time Economy Advisor to Greater Manchester
“Quite clearly, we are living in unprecedented times. However, from what I am seeing across Greater Manchester, some businesses are diversifying and adapting to the current climate.
It’s not a time for party politics and I do think some of what the Government has done e.g. Furlough, Rates, VAT has been great, but they have certainly not gone far enough, especially when it comes to the Self Employed.
The initial speech a few weeks ago, on the Monday, “advising” people not to go to bars, restaurants, clubs decimated our industry and I think this once again shows a lack of understanding of how important the night time economy is.
In Greater Manchester, we have launched UnitedWeStream.co.uk to entertain and raise funds for those within our sector, who need the most help at the moment. We have had 2 million views in the first week and raised into six figures worth of aid.
It also helped Greater Manchester Police re-enforce the Stay Home Campaign. Sadly, I do think all of us, not just those within the NTE, will be paying for this for the rest of our lives, whether that’s in taxes, VAT etc.
What has been completely obvious to me throughout this whole thing, is our industry stick together, we help each other out. I’m seeing restaurants making free meals for the NHS, hotels giving free rooms to the frontline services…there are too many to mention.
When to are allowed to see openings and I do think we aren’t too far off, it will be interesting to see how the government to it. My thoughts are a slow release working with smaller capacities and slowly building up to large scale events.”