8 in 10 firms ‘on knife edge’

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Aid required: the Night-Time Industries Association urges the Government to support the sector in its March Budget (image: Getty/BrianAJackson)
Aid required: the Night-Time Industries Association urges the Government to support the sector in its March Budget (image: Getty/BrianAJackson)

Related tags Legislation Finance Night-time economy London Manchester

Some 82% of night-time economy firms could be under threat as the new Energy Relief Scheme from the Government will have no impact on them, research has shown.

A flash poll from the Night-Time Industries Association (NTIA) assessed the current and new energy relief scheme on businesses.

The survey of more than 300 NTIA members, revealed under the current discount, 45.2% saw a rise of more than 200% in their energy costs while 11.3% saw over 400%.

With the current scheme, 48.4% are barely breaking even while slightly less (39.7%) are losing money.

However, when the new scheme is implemented, just over half (51.6%) will see a rise of at least 100% in energy costs and 16.1% will see a hike of more than 400%.

Again under the new scheme, four in 10 (42.9%) will be barely breaking even while 39.7% will be losing money.

Livelihoods being lost

NTIA chief executive officer Michael Kill said: “Independent businesses are being ignored, recent figures from CGA showed a 13% contraction​ in independent licensed premises businesses, compared to a 3% contraction in the managed sector.

“While the Government talks about long-term strategy and growth, businesses and livelihoods are being lost today.

“Energy companies have profiteered off the Government’s energy relief scheme, to the detriment of the night-time economy and hospitality sectors.

“With these figures showing a significant shift in fortune from April when the new energy relief scheme is implemented, with 7.4% more businesses losing money after April under the new scheme, with a total of 82.6% either losing money or barely breaking event under the new scheme compared to 80.7% under the current relief scheme.

“The Government must commit to support for the industry in the coming March Budget.”

Sector feedback on what has had the largest impact on the energy crisis included about two fifths (43.3%) of respondents who said the greatest impact will come from the Government Energy Relief Scheme.

Importance of the sector

Just under a third (30%) said re-contracting and the management of energy use/rates would impact them most, while 23.3% said relying on oil and gas market fluctuation would have the biggest effect.

Greater Manchester Night-Time Adviser and NTIA chair Sacha Lord added: “Throughout, the Government seemed only interested in getting feedback from the big hospitality chains, when actually the independents make up 80% of the sector.

“Not only have, in many cases, the energy firms cashing in on the support by failing to pass it on to businesses but we are now seeing the support isn’t really touching the sides.

“We are all seeing daily closures now, across the whole of the UK, with London seeming to feel the impact the most.

“I cannot understand why this current Government has failed the sector unlike other Governments across Europe, that recognise the importance of the sector.”

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