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9 in 10 nightclubs fear roadmap delay could threaten survival

Credit: Pexcels | File Photo

A report has claimed that 1 in 4 night-time businesses will close within weeks without further government support following the delay in the easing of lockdown restrictions.

The survey, conducted by the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) of 300 night time businesses also found that 9 in 10 feared the delay could threaten the survival of their business.

The remaining restrictions on businesses such as nightclubs and pubs along with events and performances were set to lifted on June 21st.

However on June 14th, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the final easing of restrictions in England would be delayed by four weeks due to a rise in cases of the Delta variant of Covid-19.

The decision to delay the easing of restrictions has left many businesses out of pocket due to preparations they had made to reopen on June 21st.

The NTIA found that 95% of businesses had already made financial commitments as part of preparations to reopen.

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Snobs Nightclub | Credit: Google StreetView

Snobs, a nightclub in Birmingham told Birmingham Eastside that although it understood the reasons for the delay it was very disappointing for an industry, it say’s has had very little financial support.

Snobs promoter David Southam said: “We along with others have incurred the cost of purchasing stock, organising staff and got our venue fully ready for reopening”.

Przym, a nightclub in Birmingham is one of many night-time businesses that feel they have not been given enough government support.

Adrian Swain, the Regional Operations Director for Pryzm said: “The late night sector, including clubs like ours in Birmingham, urgently needs additional financial support from the Treasury.”

Birmingham Eastside understands that the Treasury have a £352bn support package in place to protect and support jobs and businesses.

Some night-time businesses say that the package isn’t robust enough with some having to pay back government loans whilst still being unable to trade. 

Michael Kill, NTIA CEO, says:

“These businesses are overburdened with debt and so any decision to delay the full reopening of our sector must be paired with a robust financial support package.”

A spokesman for the Treasury said:

“We deliberately went long with our support to provide certainty to people and businesses over the summer, and that support, which is a substantial amount of funding, is continuing. 

The furlough scheme is in place until September and is amongst the most generous schemes in the world – already providing £65 billion of support and protecting 11.5 million jobs. 

The government will continue pay 70% of workers’ wages over July, with businesses asked to cover just 10%. 

They can also continue to access additional support, including restart grants worth up to £18,000 per business, and business rates relief and a cut to VAT – both in place until March 2022.” 

In February, an All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for the Night-Time Economy concluded that government support for the nighttime economy was insufficient and ‘increasingly overlooked’.

The MP’s asked for specific packages of support with a specific road map for reopening late-night venues. The group says that without urgent support, city centres will become ‘ghost towns’.



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