Businesses Fearful of a Delay to Reopening – NTIA Survey Shows

Night Time Industries Association flash survey of 172 nightlife operators reveals that 9 out of 10 fear any delay to the full re-opening of nightlife and hospitality on June 21st could threaten the survival of their businesses.

The flash survey was conducted from 26-27th May 2021 and completed by 172 night time economy businesses in England. Nightlife businesses include operators of nightclubs, live music venues, bars, pubs, festivals and entertainment venues.

What are nightlife businesses saying about a delay?

The NTIA survey covered a range of issues which concerned a potential delay. The survey found that 85% of businesses would require at least 2 weeks notice to reopen, with one third of total businesses requiring at least four weeks. 95% of business are financial committed to the governments set date of June 21st, the majority having ordered stock, called in staff and sold tickets. This also includes booked entertainment as well as marketing and promotional deals which have been arranged for this date. Its clear to see how any delay would cause severe disruption and financial cost to these businesses.

The NTIA have warned the government and are urging them to stick to the June 21st scheduled date, with the Prime Minister recently noting caution in response to the new Indian COVID-19 variant. There is viable reason for concern, as it was announced publicly on 28th May that the new variant accounts for possibly three quarters of all new cases. Nightlife and hospitality businesses are understandably anxious.

The NTIA’s assessment

Michael Kill, CEO of Night Time Industries Association said in a statement “any change to the government’s roadmap will wreak havoc on nightlife business.” In reference to the recent survey, Mr. Kill stated “evidently, the government has a misguided understanding of the timelines preparation and operational requirements of our sector, given the ridiculous seven-day notice period they have said they will give ahead of reopening.”

He noted that operators have asked for a minimum of 3 weeks to prepare for reopening their doors. Many businesses have had to make financial risks by investing in preparation for the reopening, this includes the need to recruit staff, hire equipment and risk assess venues.

NDML offer a risk management service, including visitation and insurance information, ideal for getting venues back on track. Michael Kill said that the cost for nightlife business could be disastrous if the June 21st date is moved back.

What are the authority’s saying about reopening?

Boris Johnson today (28th May) has said in a statement “we may need to wait” for the lifting of covid restriction. The ambiguity of the statement is less than helpful to nightlife businesses owners. However the PM did reiterate that “he saw nothing currently in the data to suggest the government would have to delay unlocking.”

Sacha Lord, Night Time Economy Adviser for Greater Manchester, has mirrored the PM’s message, saying the “data is looking positive.” She urges the government to “stand strong and allow some of the hardest hit industries to prepare for opening.” Those who could be most heavily hit by a “move of the goalposts” are residents of Bristol. Carly Heath, Bristol Nightlife Advisor, notes “over a third of the population works in the Night Time Economy.” She worries the “heart and soul” of the city could be hurt by a setback. Due to mass redundancies, hospitality are looking for staff in time o reopen. Any delay could be the death of businesses which are currently barely holding on.

Stay financially protected with NDML

NDML are nightlife insurance experts, ready to help guide nightlife and hospitality businesses. We are a broker who is invested in the sector, with 20 years of experience tackling claims and fighting for clients. We recently fought a supreme court case with the NTIA on business interruption as a direct result of COVID-19 for nightlife businesses. Read the results here.

For a broker who will be with you every step of the way, protecting your finances as well as the wellbeing and growth of your company, contact NDML.