Budget is 'last chance saloon' for night-time economy

03 March 2021 by
Budget is 'last chance saloon' for night-time economy

Today's Budget announcement is the "last chance saloon" for many late-night businesses which have been unable to trade since last March 2020, a trade body has warned.

The Night-time Industries Association (NTIA) said the sector was one of the hardest hit, yet has "escaped from the government narrative" and received limited communication.

A recent report found late-night businesses and their suppliers have on average made 37% of their workforce redundant over the past year, with two-thirds of employees currently on furlough.

Though the government announcement of a roadmap out of lockdown and £5b grants for the high streethave been welcomed, the NTIA warns operators need further support if they are to survive until reopening.

"[Businesses] have staggered through the last year under mounting debts, feeling undervalued and left out," said Michael Kill, chief executive of the NTIA.

"The announcement of £5b for ‘the high street' sounds like a step in the right direction, but we await the detail. The chancellor should be under no illusions that without sufficient, focused sector-specific money, swathes of this vital industry will be lost for good, and the financial and emotional scarring of such an outcome on countless business owners, freelancers and employees will last for a generation."

The chancellor is set to extend the furlough scheme until September, with employers expected to contribute from the end of July.

Kill welcomed the news, but said without additional help businesses would be unable to deliver the scheme which has protected "millions of jobs".

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Image: Shutterstock

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