The night-time economy in Scotland is in the midst of a major financial crisis as the coronavirus pandemic takes its toll on businesses within the associated industries.
As many as 83 per cent of businesses within the night-time economy are preparing to make redundancies in the coming weeks, with a majority expecting to reduce the scale of their workforce by more than half.
Those figures have been published by the Night-Time Industries Association (NTIA), whose recent research found that around 58 per cent of businesses in those industries are worried that they won’t be able to survive beyond the next two months.
The association has said that the coronavirus outbreak has left its industry facing nothing less than a “financial Armageddon,” which of course could be desperately bad news for very large numbers of people currently employed in the night-time sector.
In March and April, immediately after the coronavirus crisis began, economic activity slumped massively in Scotland and across the UK but some sectors have been able to restart and recover much of the ground they lost during that period.
However, with the virus still a major public health risk, nightclubs, theatres and concert venues have all been obliged to remain almost entirely closed, with businesses behind those operations suffering huge financial losses as a result.
Campaigners have criticised the Scottish government for failing to provide enough support to businesses that contribute to the night-time economy and form such an important part of the draw for tourists to Scotland’s major cities.
“Of all the affected sectors of the Scottish economy, hospitality has been among the hardest hit by the pandemic,” said Mike Grieve, a director at the NTIA and the managing director of Sub Club.
“In the case of nightclubs, we were the first to shut down and without a shadow of doubt we will be the last of the last to re-open.
“Meanwhile there has been a staggering lack of support available to keep these economically significant and culturally vital businesses alive to protect the future of our hugely vibrant nightlife sector.”
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More than a third of workers in Scotland are fearful that they might lose their jobs at some point over the next 12 months.
Large numbers of households across Scotland could be facing serious financial problems once the option to defer their bills or their debt repayments ceases to be available.
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