The Night-Time Industries Association (NTIA) has said it will challenge the government if the easing of coronavirus restrictions on 21 June in England is delayed.
The group said any delay would be "catastrophic" for the night-time economy, with businesses having been unable to open since March 2020 and leaving many on a "financial cliff edge".
The government will confirm if the easing will go ahead on 14 June, but the NTIA has been aggressively pushing back on any changes to the roadmap and is working alongside key partners within different sectors to collectively challenge the government if the decision goes against opening.
A recent survey of NTIA members found that 54% of businesses had ordered stock for reopening on 21 June, 73% had called in staff, 60% had sold tickets, 64% had booked entertainment and 80% had financed marketing and promotional materials. Nine in 10 nightlife operators feared any delay could threaten the survival of their business.
Michael Kill, chief executive of the NTIA, said: "Night-time economy businesses have waited patiently for the opportunity to open for over 15 months. Many have not survived, some are on a cliff edge, hundreds of thousands of jobs have been lost, a huge pool of talent has been swept away and left to suffer extreme financial hardship.
"We should not underestimate the importance of the 21 June to these businesses, employees, entertainers and freelancers, a day when they are given back their freedom to trade, livelihoods, careers, social wellbeing and the day that the government gives culture back to the UK.
"To delay would have a huge impact on the sector, losing many businesses, livelihoods culminating in further loss of confidence in the sector."
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