Cities’ night czars call for more support

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

City economies: night time economy adviser for Bristol, Carly Heath, night czar for London, Amy Lamé and night time economy adviser for Greater Manchester, Sacha Lord, wrote to Rishi Sunak together. (image: Alena Kravchenko / Getty)
City economies: night time economy adviser for Bristol, Carly Heath, night czar for London, Amy Lamé and night time economy adviser for Greater Manchester, Sacha Lord, wrote to Rishi Sunak together. (image: Alena Kravchenko / Getty)

Related tags: London, Greater manchester, Bristol, Sacha Lord, Rishi Sunak

Night-time economy advisers in Bristol, London and Greater Manchester have written to the Chancellor urging for more support in an “unprecedented period of restrictions.”

Night-time economy adviser for Bristol, Carly Heath, night czar for London, Amy Lamé and night-time economy adviser for Greater Manchester, Sacha Lord, wrote to Rishi Sunak together.

They called for an extension of the full business rates holiday, which is set to end on 30 June, as well as an extension to the current furlough scheme until all restrictions are lifted.

Furlough eligibility dates should be reassessed as many businesses recruited new staff in the run up to the anticipated 21 June reopening and cannot furlough them under the scheme.

The Government should support the live events and festival sectors with a guaranteed insurance scheme, the trio said.

What’s more, the night czars said there should be more support for businesses forced to close due to Covid outbreaks including enabling bosses to pay self-isolating workers full pay. 

Profound impact

Continued restrictions and closures have had a “profound impact” on jobs and the economy as well as “the health and wellbeing of business owners and workers,” the advisers said.

The letter stated: “Businesses need support measures extended to cover this unprecedented period of restrictions. Many simply don’t have the ability to break even due to operating at reduced capacity, or the cash reserves to survive to 19 July.

“We are nearing what we all hope to be the full reopening of our sectors. Many hospitality, culture and night time businesses have made it this far in the pandemic through Government support, and we ask that you do not abandon them at the final hurdle.”

While it was good news the commercial evictions moratorium had been extended until March 2022​, "this alone will not help the sector to survive," the advisers wrote.

“The hospitality, night-time and cultural sectors want to trade their way back to viability,” the letter concluded. “Please give them a chance to do so and to play a full role in the economic and social recoveries of Bristol, London, Greater Manchester, and indeed, the whole of the United Kingdom.”

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