| 04 Oct 2023
NTIA #Savenightlife campaign urges Chancellor for support

MUMBAI: The NTIA have tirelessly campaigned for support for the night-time economy and events sector businesses who suffered plummeting sales even before lockdown was officially announced, and being amongst the last sector to be authorised to re-open, many businesses are concerned it will not be financially viable to reopen under proposed government measures and will need sector specific support. The vast majority of businesses operating in the night time economy are at the small end of SME, with all the cash flow pressures that bring even in normal times.

In a letter to the Chancellor, Prime Minister and the Cabinet, the NTIA has requested urgent support from the NTE & Events Sector businesses until the end of 2020.

In summary, the NTIA are asking for:

A further business support grant along the lines of the Coronavirus Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Fund Grant but specifically focussed on businesses operating in the night time economy. The grant needs to cover businesses with a Rateable Value of up to and over £150K. We would also seek to include a Coronavirus Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Scheme which would consider businesses without Rateable Value within the supply chain that create the vital infrastructure for our sector to ensure they are able to gain access to financial support to ensure our sector bounces back from this crisis. The grant is needed to help cover current rent commitments and market re-engagement funding, to reflect the reality that our venues will not be authorised to re-open in the same timescale as other sectors such as normal daytime retail outlets.

An extension of the Furlough & SEIS schemes until the end of 2020, maintained at the full 80% level, to reflect our longer lockdown and the added Employment & Self-Employed pressures that this entails for businesses that cannot reopen, with an inclusion for the Sole Directors of Limited Company’s and the ability to include Dividends as Income for the period in parallel with the current Furlough and SEIS Schemes.

Further assistance in preventing actions from landlords who are playing ‘hard ball’ with us as tenants, including specific action to stop landlords forcing out tenants operating in our sector and then applying for ‘change of use’ for their premises. Such action means that night time venues will be forever lost and replaced with residential units or alternative business use, losing some of our cultural heritage forever.

A commitment to work with our representative body, the NTIA and the wider industry, to find ways of maintaining public health, compatible with our industry and its ability to survive commercially – i.e. a reduction in Social Distancing measures / Introduction of Track and Trace technology.

Help to reverse the narrative when it is safe to do so, to ensure that the public are aware that it is safe to re-engage the market place and attend pubs, bars, nightclubs and outdoor events.

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 as well as contributing to cultural and civic life and it would be a tragedy if such businesses were lost as the result of a chain of events over which they have no control. It must be supported and protected.