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NTIA unveils figures from flash poll on UK night time economy business trade during the festive period Published Date: 15/01/2024

The poll shows varied footfall trends, with both increases and decreases reported, highlighting the complex and unpredictable nature of consumer behaviour under the current inflationary pressures faced by consumers. The NTIA said, this "inconsistency poses challenges for businesses in planning and adapting to changing market dynamics, raising concerns about the overall stability of the Night Time Economy."

A substantial percentage of businesses faced revenue challenges during the Oct – Dec period, with 21.7% experiencing a 0-10% decrease and 18.8% observing an 11-20% decrease. The 13% encountering over a 30% decrease in revenue is particularly alarming, signalling a need for urgent measures to stabilise and support businesses facing significant financial setbacks.

While 55.7% of businesses estimate they can last up to four months without further support, 25.7% project sustainability between 2-3 months. This indicates a critical need for immediate government action to prevent a substantial portion of businesses from facing financial distress and potential closures.

The overwhelming majority of businesses are advocating for specific government interventions, including VAT reduction (82.9%), restructuring of business rates or further relief (57.1%), and additional energy support (32.9%). The high percentage of businesses expressing these needs emphasises the urgency and critical importance of government support.

70% of surveyed businesses reported adverse impacts from industrial action. This highlights a significant challenge faced by the Night Time Economy during a critical period, raising concerns about the industry’s vulnerability to external disruptions.

The Night Time Economy, with its diverse challenges, underscores the vulnerability of the sector seeking government interventions. Businesses, especially, are voicing a predominant request for a VAT reduction, emphasising the overarching importance of this measure. In addition to this central plea, there are appeals for relief in areas such as business rates, energy support, alcohol duty freeze, and National Insurance reduction. Recognising the unique vulnerabilities and focusing on the crucial need for a VAT reduction forms the cornerstone of an effective and comprehensive support strategy for the Night Time Economy.

Michael Kill, CEO of the Night Time Industries Association, said:

“As the CEO of the Night Time Industries Association, I want to highlight the critical concerns we are currently facing. The Night Time Economy is grappling with the widespread impact of external factors, unpredictable consumer behaviour, ongoing financial challenges, and the limited sustainability of businesses without support. It is imperative that we address these issues with targeted government interventions. The findings underscore the fragility of the Night Time Economy, emphasising the urgent need for coordinated efforts to ensure its survival and facilitate a robust recovery.”