GM's Night Time Economy adviser says Chancellor's financial aid doesn't 'go far enough'

Sacha Lord, Night Time Economy Adviser for Greater Manchester, has reacted to the Chancellor's financial aid packages announced yesterday (24th September).

The new Job Support Scheme will replace the furlough scheme which comes to an end next month.

Chancellor, Rishi Sunak announced that the government will top up wages of employees who work at least a third of their usual hours. 

The grant scheme is also being extended for the self employed, there'll be a 15% VAT cut for the hospitality and tourism sectors and businesses who received a government-backed loan will get help to repay them.

But Sacha Lord said he predicts a 'tidal wave of redundancies across the UK night time ecomony':

"At the start of the crisis, the Chancellor assured us he would stick by all businesses, but today has turned his back on this commitment. 

"There are still no answers for the live music venues and nightclubs who cannot reopen or who are bound by unviable restrictions, or for the musicians, performers and backstage freelancers who work within these sectors.

"Those caught in the midst of local outbreaks, including the hospitality operators in Bolton who have been forced to close, will undoubtedly suffer and the local lockdown support packages will not be enough to maintain their survival.

"It's now time to acknowledge that many operators, especially independents who have no significant parental backing, will sadly close as a result of this pandemic. 

"In hospitality alone, there are 900,000 workers still on furlough, and a further 1.3million people across the UK work within the nightclub industry. I can understand that for many operators, it will be easier to remove these individuals from payrolls completely than go under.

"The UK's cultural, live music and night time scene is widely regarded as one of, if not the best, in the world, yet this pandemic has changed the landscape of the sector indefinitely. 

"We now all need to work together to move forward, to adapt and overcome, and at the very least those at the top must now provide a plan to help those losing jobs.

"We need reassurance that the workers who will inevitably be out of work will be able to claim benefits easily and quickly, that they can apply for retraining schemes, grants and initiatives where possible, and that their mental health will be supported throughout this devastating time.

"Lastly, while it is too late for many, going forward I urge the Government to make these financial aid announcements sooner to coincide with restrictions, if only for the mental health of the business owners involved."

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