Over three-quarters of night-time economy businesses expect to go bust within a month

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Over three-quarters of night-time economy businesses expect to go bust within a month Coronavirus NTIA

Related tags: Night time economy, Coronavirus tier system, Coronavirus, lockdown

More than three-quarters of night-time economy businesses say they will collapse within a month, according to a new survey.

The research, carried out by Sprout CRM and the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA), found that 75.6% of businesses think they will be closed for good by Christmas as a result of the impact to trade caused by ongoing Coronavirus restrictions imposed by Government.

Over 73% of businesses surveyed have already begun laying off staff, with more than half (65%) already making over 40% of their workforce redundant.

It comes as 99% of England prepares to be plunged into tougher Tier 2 or 3 restrictions from Wednesday (2 December), which will force wet-led night-time economy venues including bars and nightclubs to remain closed, putting hundreds of thousands of jobs at risk.

For the most part, clubs and bars across the UK have been locked down completely since the pandemic first hit in March.

The survey, which received responses from more than 400 businesses within the hospitality and night time economy sector, also further highlighted the growing concerns over rent arrears that have been building across the entire hospitality sector.

Nearly three-quarters (74.4%) of businesses surveyed were commercial tenants, with 77.6% saying they owed over two quarters in rent arrears and were suffering extreme financial hardship.

"[The Government's new tiered restrictions] has led us to believe that they are intentionally aiming to collapse our sector," said Michael Kill, CEO of the NTIA.

"Every town and city across the UK stands to lose valued and much loved venues.  This will be another stab in the heart of our town and city centres.

“We stand to lose the cultural institutions and amazing workforce of professionals that the UK are renowned for globally. Our clubs, bars, venues, security, freelancers, staff, managers, DJ’s and many more will lose their livelihoods and continue to suffer financial hardship without Government intervention."

In a direct appeal to the Prime Minister, Kill added: "Mr Johnson, what are you doing to save the lives and livelihoods of the many businesses and workers within the night time economy, businesses that have been closed since March and are continuing to suffer?

"They have staff and freelancers that will lose their jobs irrespective of furlough because the businesses won’t survive.

“I hope you are sleeping well at night because thousands within our sector are struggling to sleep, in fear of their future.”

Bosses from some of the UK's biggest night-time economy operators were expected to be meeting with Business Secretary Alok Sharma last week in an attempt to secure a potential lifeline for the sector​, but it is understood that meeting was delayed.

In recent weeks, Britain's biggest nightclub operator Deltic has warned landlords​ that the company faces collapse unless a sale is agreed imminently.

Meanwhile, Revolution Bars announced earlier this month that it had launched a Company Voluntary Arrangement​ (CVA) that will lead to the permanent closure of six of its 76 sites.

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