The report released this week reinforces the fears from the trade organisation that over 1/3 of nightclubs have been lost since before the pandemic, and that independent businesses across the sector have been worst affected by cost inflation and the hangover of Covid.
The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) also expressed concerns that over the past three years more than 13,000 businesses have been lost, and in 2020 4,800 had closed their doors for the last time.
Michael Kill CEO NTIA said, “We have consistently hammered home our concerns to the Government that Independent businesses across the Night Time Economy & Hospitality Sectors are at the greatest risk under the current crisis.
“It shows a clear contraction in the Independent operating sector of -13.3%, 10% greater than managed businesses seeing a drop of -3.6% towards the end of 2022.
“With Over 13,000 businesses lost over the course of the last three years, 4800 businesses in 2022, with over three quarters of these closures occurring in the second half of the year.
“Nightclubs being one of the greatest impacted by cost inflation, with a 6% drop in the 4th quarter of this year, and now a third smaller than it was before the pandemic reflecting disproportionate support and challenging trading environment.
“With one new opening, for every three closures in the last three years, solely down to pandemic, cost inflation and the current industrial action challenges.
“The acceptance by the Government that businesses will be lost through this crisis takes no account of the people reliant on this sector.
“The sector is suffering heavily and needs the financial headroom to recover.
“The rhetoric of long-term growth and investment strategy is not addressing the immediate issues faced by the businesses.
“The Government must consider additional financial support for the sector, readdressing the energy relief scheme and reducing VAT for 12 months as part of the announcement in the March Budget.”