The Prime Minister will address the nation later today and it is expected that he will delay the final stages of easing restrictions by up to a month.
What has been dubbed “Freedom Day” could be pushed back by four weeks to prevent thousands being hospitalised as the Indian variant is now responsible for 96% of new cases.
However an industry expert has warned that this decision will kill the night time economy as one in four businesses will close within weeks.
An NTIA flash survey has revealed one in four businesses will not survive longer than one month without further government support, whilst 50% will be finished within two months.
Businesses remain resilient but cannot hide the devastation a decision to delay will have on the sector, leaving many businesses, employees and freelancers on a financial cliff edge.
A government decision to delay the roadmap will decimate the Night Time Economy as thousands of businesses will close permanently within weeks.
This comes following the leaked announcement within the press, prior to the official announcement by Boris Johnson later today.
The prospective delay in the easing of lockdown today prompted the NTIA to generate a flash poll which provides an indication of the current impact and estimated impact of a delay on the Night Time Economy Sector.
Industry representatives are actively pushing back, with a clear narrative around action being taken by businesses across multiple sectors in challenging the government.
Flash survey of 300 night time businesses reveals the following;
- One in four businesses will not survive longer than one month without further government support and 50% no longer than two months.
- 54% of businesses have spent over £15K in preparation for reopening on 21st June already and 17.8% have spent over £40K.
- One in five businesses estimate they will lose over £40K per week in revenue whilst restricted from trading or closed due to the delay in the 21 June easing of lockdown.
- 58% of businesses estimate they will lose over £10K per week in revenue whilst restricted from trading or closed due to the delay in the easing of lockdown on 21st June.
- 33% of businesses estimate they will lose over 30% of their workforce due to the delay in the easing of lockdown on 21 June.
Michael Kill, NTIA CEO told LondonLoveBusiness, “Night time economy businesses have waited patiently for their opportunity to open for over 15 months, many have not survived, some are on a financial cliff edge, hundreds of thousands of jobs have been lost, a huge pool of talent has been swept away and others have been 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 should be given back there opportunity to trade, regain their livelihoods, careers, social well being and the day that the Government is due to give culture back to the UK
“Many of these businesses and individuals have adapted, overcome and survived for an exceptional length of time with the bare bones of support, and have arrived at this opportunity to find that it could be ripped away from them.
“Any delay will drive confidence in the sector to a new low, culminating in workforce leaving the sector, and customers who are starved of social engagement, attending illegal unregulated events in place of businesses that are well operated, licensed and regulated.
“These businesses are overburdened with debt, so any decision to delay will make them heavily reliant on the government to extend financial support and relief, including additional restriction grants, exclusion from furlough contributions, extension of loan repayment holiday for CBILS/BBS as well as business rates and VAT relief for the next 12 months, not forgetting the £2.6bn in commercial rent debt left unresolved.
“The government must understand the human impact of this decision, not only considering the public health challenges of the virus but also the people within our sector who are suffering terribly and the real health risks that this represents, given the overwhelming confidence in the vaccination rollout, and the ability for the sector to deliver Covid safe environments.
“Distressed industries cannot continue to be held in limbo, as businesses are left to fall, any decision to delay without clarity on when they can open will leave us no other option but to challenge the Government, standing alongside many other industries who have been locked down or restricted from opening for an extreme length of time, through no fault of their own, and at their own cost.”