19 May 2022

Opinion from Adrian Leopard & Co

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Night time businesses under imminent threat of closure
Adrian Leopard 262

Night time businesses under imminent threat of closure

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This is really high risk stuff so no chance it is going to open up again any time soon!

Time marches on and some businesses are now getting sufficiently weighed down with debt that they are just going to close and I am referring in particular to night time businesses, bars and clubs with live music which by their nature involve their patrons in close contact. We are talking of the Night Time Industries Association members.

This is not the first time this matter has been raised; it was foreseen many months ago but like with everything else, time has marched on and we have probably now well passed the time when everyone thought that the pandemic would be a thing of the past. As we know that is far from being the case.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer pointed out back in the autumn that he would not be able to prevent all businesses from failing and raised the question as to whether it was sensible even to try where the chances of getting through we low. What cannot be denied is that night clubs and music venues in the category under discussion will never be able to function normally as long as social-distancing is a requirement. It may be that some reduced form of operation could be entered into but the whole point is that the customers want to dance. That activity is completely incompatible with social-distancing. Many predict that it will be a very long time before social-distancing becomes a thing of the past but as we know, we are on moving ground – often two steps forward with one step back so no one can do more than guess.

It is possible that the chancellor will unfold some new measures to help businesses out in his March budget but it may be too late for many; apparently some 40 businesses a week are closing. It may well be that these businesses are going to become relatively rare in our entertainment and hospitality fields in the future.

However, we know from the way matters have moved forward that the hospitality industry is probably going to look very different in the future and the general feeling of proprietors on those businesses that it could well be up to three years before turnovers bounce back to pre-covid levels, if indeed then and that will be once the economy gets back to normal, whatever that will be.

Adrian Leopard 26-01-21

Photo Erik Mclean

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