Following a survey released to over 200 sample businesses nationally across the Night Time Economy & Events Sector the NTIA have some significant findings on the forecasted outcome following the release of lockdown.
- Businesses believe they will only be operating at approx. 40-43 % of capacity once lockdown has been lifted.
- 63.8% of businesses feel they will not be financially viable at 40-43% of business capacity under proposed government measures within the first three months, and will need sector specific support.
- £31,131.00 would be the average cost to restart their businesses following lockdown.
- Businesses have predicted that only 55% of the current hospitality workforce will return to work.
- 93.8% of business owners are concerned that social distancing measures will make their business unviable.
- 70.8% feel the battle with public perception and the current narrative will have a lasting effect on their businesses.
Without an understanding of the measures the government will place on NTE Businesses and Events in terms of Social Distancing/PPE, the level of financial support and the timeline with which these measures and provision will be put in place has left the industry in an untenable position, effectively mothballing many businesses across the country.
Survey respondents believed that following the NTE & Events sectors release from lockdown, 63.8% of businesses feel they will not be financially viable at over the first three months of re-engagement and will only be operating at approx. 40-43 % of capacity.
When asked about the cost of re-engaging the market place following lockdown, the average cost was over £31,131.00 just to restart their businesses within the first three months. With nightclubs and suppliers costing over £50K to restart activity.
Over 70% of the workforce has been furloughed and there is a clear understanding across the sector that only 44.9% of the sector staff will not return to their roles. According to the survey only 55% of the workforce will return, in particular, we have had feedback from the Private Security Sector which believe that over 60% of the Workforce will not return to their NTE roles due to uncertainty within the sector. This will leave a huge hole in licensed security resource, with many concerned that skilled workers will have been lost amidst the lockdown, due to personal financial pressure and security. subsequently leaving the NTE & Events sector exposed.
93.8% of business owners and operators are concerned that the social distancing will significantly reduce business capacity, where it will become financially unviable. Many realise that the social engagement business model and the spaces with which they operate will not work with proposed restrictions by the Government.
70.8% feel the battle with public perception and the current narrative that has been bestowed on the Night Time Economy & Events sector will have a lasting effect, until it is reversed by senior figures in Government. Guidance on PPE, Risk Assessments and Staff training and communication present very relevant financial commitment, but without clarity on sector specific measures and financial support, many businesses will be left in limbo.
Given that the Government has released a very ambiguous strategy for a potential release of business lockdown for the sector of 4th July, the Industry are asking for a minimum of 3 weeks (22.9 Days) notice to be able to prepare for restarting the sector, including the re-engagement of suppliers and staff resource.
The NTIA represents the enormous success story that is the UK’s fifth biggest industry, which accounts for at least 8% of the UK’s employment and revenues of 66 Billion per annum (that’s 6% of the UK total). Members include; Independent bars, nightclubs, restaurant owners, pubs, festival and live music event operators as well as music managers and other supporters of the benefits of the Night-Time Industry from the world of business, culture, media and politics. This is an important sector to the economy that supports a huge amount of people and must be supported and protected.
Key Quotes from the Survey:
“Social distancing is incompatible with businesses selling social interaction. You do not go to a bar to get drunk. You go to a bar to socially interact with people. Asking hospitality businesses to practice social distancing is a bit like trying to sell someone a car they cannot drive.”
“From what I can tell there is currently no guidance on how we could feasibly operate social distancing in either restaurants (between staff and customers) or pubs and clubs (seems impossible). In addition, with the way alcohol affects the decision-making processes, is it feasible to expect customers to adhere to social distancing. How would we be expected to control social distancing in outdoor areas with naturally high footfall?”
“They need to realise we cannot open partially whilst still paying all our bills, i.e. electricity for 10 people the same as 100. Atmosphere in pubs will be damaged and will do more harm than good”
“Penalties for guests who behave in an unsafe manner, will businesses be penalised if guests do not cooperate with distancing measures, can we process multiple incidences of sick pay for staff if they must isolate? Can we refuse hours to staff who we believe are required to self-isolate or will they still be permitted furlough?”
NOTES TO EDITORS:
Analysis by Professor Fiona Measham & Maria Measham – Liverpool University
The survey was completed by 204 Members of the Night Time Industries Association including; Bars, Pubs, Restaurants, Hotels, Events & Festivals.