Time 'quickly running out' for sector

By Rebecca Weller

- Last updated on GMT

Time quickly running out: sector needs concise support plan (Credit: Getty/Charday Penn)
Time quickly running out: sector needs concise support plan (Credit: Getty/Charday Penn)

Related tags NTIA Legislation Finance

Almost half (47.7%) of night-time economy (NTE) businesses are barely breaking even as operators have been left “emotionally and mentally drained” by continued uncertainty regarding Government support, according to the Night-Time Industries Association (NTIA).

NTIA CEO Michael Kill repeated calls for a “concise and detailed plan” from the Government in supporting businesses, stating the hospitality sector, despite remaining resilient, was “quickly running out of time” while on a financial cliff edge.

He added: “As the number of failing businesses we engage with escalates on a day-to-day basis, with many business owners and operators emotionally and mentally drained from over 3 years of uncertainty, questions are quite rightly being asked of the Government and its plans for the sector.

Irreversible decisions  

“Time is quickly running out, with hundreds of businesses already unable to hold on, making irreversible decisions about their future, with thousands of jobs lost or at risk.”

This comes as three out of four businesses were barely breaking even while 24.8% had been losing money with 23% expecting to be out of businesses in the next few months under current operating costs, according to a flash poll of 300 businesses conducted by the NTIA last week.

Furthermore, 80.6% of respondents had seen footfall decrease over the last 3 months of trading while 82% had seen a drop in revenue.

When asked what would have the greatest impact on their businesses survival, 84.3% said VAT, 66.8% stated an energy cap, and 59.4% called for an extension to business rates relief.

Other suggestions included a reduction to National Insurance or corporation tax, a freeze on loan payments and grants.  

Crisis point 

Additionally, the NTIA stated the Government had understated the crisis faced by businesses within the NTE and hospitality sectors including a “perfect storm” of untenable cost increases and consumer market constraints.

Kill said: “We have now reached such a crisis point that only immediate and large-scale interventions can save huge parts of the sector, with substantial cuts to VAT, an extension of business rates relief and a meaningful energy price freeze for Small Medium Enterprise businesses which is affordable.

“We need a concise and detailed plan from the Government on how they will support businesses through this crisis, nothing less than this is acceptable.”

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